Lobsters

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Lobsters at Santa Cruz Island, 2017
Ralph Paulin holding lobster catch
Canning crawfish on Santa Cruz Island
Sunset Magazine, 1905 (238)
Photo by N. H. Reed

Lobsters, a marine crustacean with five pairs of jointed legs, the first often bearing large pincer like claws of unequal size adapted to crushing the shells of its prey. The California spiny lobsters are actually marine crawfish (Panulirus interruptus); they lack claws but have sharp spines on the carapace. The stout-bodied, sometimes brightly colored squat lobsters are close relatives of the hermit crab; their broad abdomens are usually tucked under their bodies, as in crabs, but can be extended and used for backward swimming, as in the true lobsters. The segmented body of the lobster consists of a large cephalothorax (made up of14 segments) and a moveable, muscular abdomen (composed of 7 segments). It is covered with a chitinous exoskeleton that is dark green in the living animal and bright red when boiled. As the lobster grows, the exoskeleton is periodically molted and a new, larger one is formed in its place. Lobsters have 20 pairs of gills attached to the bases of the legs and to the sides of the body; the gills are protected by the carapace, the large area of the exoskeleton covering the back and sides of the cephalothorax. In addition to the legs, the appendages consist of 2 paired antennae, 6 pairs of mouth parts, and the small swimmerets attached to the abdominal segments. In the female the eggs remain attached to the swimmerets for 10 or 11 months until they hatch into free-swimming larvae. The larvae swim for about a year, molting between 14 and 17 times before they settle to the bottom and begin to take on adult characteristics. Lobsters crawl briskly over the ocean floor and swim backward with great speed by scooping motions of the muscular abdomen and tail, but are clumsy on land. They are scavengers but also prey on shellfish and may even attack live fish and large gastropods. Over a period of five years they grow to an average weight of 3 lb (1.4 kg). Lobsters are caught in slatted wooden traps, or “pots,” baited with dead fish. Lobsters are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Crustacea, order Decapoda, family Homaridae.

California spiny lobsters are found from the intertidal zone to depths of 240 feet from Monterey to Mexico. Evidence shows both Native Americans and Spanish settlers ate them. Along the Santa Barbara coast, lobster camps were established as early as the 1880s. By the turn of the century, gasoline-powered boats were employed in the fishery, and lobsters were picked up from fishermen at various island camps. The camps were bases from which fishermen would work from skiffs, hand-pulling lath traps baited with fish or abalone and weighted with rocks. United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries for the Year 1888 shows a map with crawfish grounds established on the east end of Santa Cruz Island. For the Year Ending June 30, 1896, the Commission reported a Santa Barbara County yield of 154,850 pounds of lobster in 1892 and 304,650 pounds in 1895. The lobster canning industry grew at the end of the 19th century. However, canning lobster was an uncertain business, with many of the hand packed and hand soldered cans going bad easily. In addition, canned lobster did not travel or ship well once it was packed.

» Catalina Conserving Company; San Pedro Canning Company




In the News~

April 5, 1876 [SBDP]: “…Crawfish of a very large size are found in great numbers along the shores [of San Nicolas Island].”


June 9, 1877 [SBMP]: “The Lobster Cannery. Messrs. Ord & Company have commenced operations in earnest in the canning of lobsters. The first two shiploads arrived here last night. Weinmiller came into port at about 6 o'clock in the evening, and Larco at about midnight, having over three hundred lobsters on each vessel. This makes over six hundred to start with. The building used as the factory is all ready for operations, the boilers are fixed, furnaces ready, and several thousand cans on hand waiting to be filled. It is calculated that over a thousand fish can be caught every evening if necessary. There is no reason in the world why this venture should not turn out a complete success, as we have an enormous field for operating in. We await development s and first productions with interest. The factory is situated near the beach.”


November 30, 1878 [SBDP]: “The fishermen are doing quite an extensive business in the crawfish line just now. They have made several shipments to San Francisco this month.”


March 16, 1883 [SBDP]: “About lobsters. Many lobsters are taken from the ocean in this vicinity, the business being pursued in these waters both by islanders and fishermen from neighboring ports… The traps used here differ somewhat in size and shape from those employed in Eastern grounds. A light frame of pine, from three to four feet in length and from one to two feet in width and depth, is covered by laths or other light slats, placed about half an inch apart. A funnel-shaped mouth of pointed slats or netted cord is made at one end large enough for the ingress of a lobster…”


October 29, 1883 [SBDP]: “Italian fishermen say that crawfish are scarce at this time of the year.”


February 16, 1884 [SBDP]: “Fishermen were setting crawfish traps on the other side of the kelp today.”


December 27, 1884 [SBDI]: “Nothing but crawfish are being caught nowadays.”


June 15, 1886 [SBDI]: “Captain Larco shipped several hundred pounds of crawfish to San Francisco on the Orizaba. They bring him 75 cents per hundred pounds.”


1888 Report of the Commissioner, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries (GPO: 1892) maps crawfish grounds on the eastern end of Santa Cruz Island.


May 26, 1888 [SBMP]: “Lobster’s Coming. An effort to introduce this shell-fish in Pacific waters. A lobster excursion party in a special car is the latest immigration note of interest to Californians. These desirable settlers will doubtless start on their way from Wood’s Hole, Mass, within the next two weeks… Professor Baird, the Government Commissioner, took great interest in the possibilities of lobster culture on the coast, and shortly before his death had arranged details for the shipment that is now to come…”


June 23, 1888 [LAT]: “San Francisco. The carload of lobsters from Massachusetts arrived here this afternoon, and was immediately forwarded to Santa Cruz. The lobsters will be placed in protected boats, where they will be kept for a few weeks to regain their normal vigor. Their final station has not yet been decided upon. Professor Davidson of the Coast Survey favors putting the lobsters in small colonies in coves down as far south as Piedras Blancas…”


November 27, 1888 [SBDI]: “Notice. Some party or parties unknown under the guise of fishermen steal from my crawfish pots by cutting them with a knife. This is to give notice that the robbers if caught will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A. Larco. Fisherman.”


March 29, 1892 [SBDI]: “Captain Larco shipped a large lot of crawfish to San Francisco north yesterday on the Eureka.”


1892. The 1896 Report of the Commissioner, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries (GPO: 1898) reports 154,850 pounds of crawfish taken in Santa Barbara County in 1892.


June 1, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “A San Francisco paper of Monday contains a write-up of the crawfish industry which flourishes in the Santa Barbara Channel. It says that a large catching and canning planting will be established in this city under the supervision of Captain Mullett who is well known here. The festive crawfish has long been one of the chief exports of this city, and many an Eastern chef christens it “lobster” and charges up the salad accordingly. If the industry can be established it will be a good thing for this locality, for there is an unlimited field for the crawfish-catcher in this channel and on the shores of the Channel Islands.”


June 5, 1893 [SBDI]: “The schooner Jennie Griffin from San Francisco arrived yesterday and anchored in the channel quite a distance out for a short time, sailing toward the south early in the afternoon. The schooner is one in which Captain Mullett is interested, and is on the way to San Pedro and San Diego where it will make preparations for an extensive business in crawfish. The schooner had on board crawfish nets and other apparatus for the capture of the lobsters. The headquarters of the new concern will be at either San Pedro or San Diego, and the crawfish will be caught around the islands. San Francisco provides a big market for the fish, and Captain Mullett expects to make considerable money out of the business.”


June 6, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The fishing schooner Jennie Griffin dropped anchor in the channel Saturday afternoon, Captain Mullett in command. This is the new schooner which will engage in the crawfish business to cruise up and down in the Santa Barbara Channel, and supply the crawfish plant to be established.”


June 8, 1893 [SBDI]: “Forty sacks of crawfish were shipped to San Francisco yesterday by steamer. Shipments in this line have been heavy for several weeks.”


July 14, 1893 [SBDI]: “A few days ago the San Diego papers gave accounts of a disturbance of the elements at San Nicolas Island. Captain Mullett of the steamer, Jennie Griffin, was quoted as the authority for the statement, but nevertheless the story was given little credence. In the Los Angeles Herald the Captain says that every word of the report was true, and further states: ‘You ought to investigate this matter,’ said the energetic captain. ‘It will no doubt be investigated by the United States Government and scientists in time. Such an event is worth it. It was a tidal wave accompanied by earthquake shocks. The island is partially submerged, and that harbor is wiped out. It was filled up by sand rolling in.’ The captain appeared to be ready to take up the cudgels with anyone who disputes the accuracy of his account of the terrific disturbance on San Nicolas. He says he can be corroborated by thirteen or fourteen men who were there with them. The Jennie Griffen is in the service of a fish company and was at the island at the time of the disturbances for the purpose of getting crawfish for the San Francisco market.”


April 10, 1894 [SBDI]: “Large shipments of crawfish are being made by each steamer to San Francisco. For several months past up to a few weeks ago, the catch had been very light.”


April 18, 1894 [SBMP]: “The sloop Restless, Captain Burtis, has returned from Santa Cruz Island after taking over a party on a craw fishing expedition.”


May 2, 1894 [LAT/SF]: “The crawfish, or California lobster, is to be found in all the markets of San Francisco… Some months ago a company was organized to land the crawfish here in quantities. A station was opened on one of the islands off San Diego, where they were to be caught, and the schooner Jennie Griffin chartered to bring the fish alive to this market. The scheme was a failure… A station was erected on one of the islands in the Santa Barbara Channel over a month ago, a force of fishermen employed, and the first consignment was received here on the Pacific Coast Steamship Company’s steamer last Friday.”


May 3, 1894 [SBDI]: “A fishing camp has been established at the east end of Santa Cruz Island engaged in pickling crawfish in vinegar.”


January 18, 1895 [LAT]: “Facts for housekeepers. Did you know that lobster is poisonous if it is not boiled alive?”


April 8, 1895 [LAT]: “The new game law of this State, passed by the legislature, which went into effect on March 27 last… every person who, in the State of California, shall take, catch or kill, or sells, exposes, or offers for sale, or has in his possession any lobster or crawfish between the 15th day of May and the 15th day of July of each year shall be guilty of a misdemeanor…”


July 23, 1895 [SBDI]: “Sixty sacks of crawfish were shipped to San Francisco on the Mexico last night. The crawfish season opened July 15th, and this is the largest shipment up to date.”


August 18, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “A new industry in the way of pickling crawfish for shipment is about to be started in Santa Barbara. The undertaking will be under the management of Mr. Johnson. This gentleman has already received large orders for pickled crawfish from parties in San Francisco. The boat Emm is being fitted out to make trips to the islands to get the fish, where they abound in great numbers.”


September 16, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “The Larco boys have taken up the crawfish-pickling industry, and their first shipment of twelve casks will be sent to San Francisco tomorrow.”


December 5, 1895 [LAT/SM]: “Tobe Thompson was arrested today on a complaint sworn out by A. G. Fletcher under a new statute of 1895. It provides that it is a misdemeanor to catch or have in possession lobsters or crawfish of less than one pound weight…”


1895. The 1896 Report of the Commissioner, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries (GPO: 1898) reports 304,650 pounds of crawfish taken in 1895.


June 12, 1896 [LAT]: “Underwood lobster. Large can 25¢.”


July 5, 1896 [LAT]: “For several years the government fish commission has been trying to propagate Atlantic Coast lobsters on the California coast…”


March 6, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “There is a new industry in town which, although at present operated on a small scale, promises material development, called the Catalina Conserving Company. Its work at present is confined to the canning of lobsters. This is said to be the first establishment of its kind on the Pacific coast. It is claimed that the meat of the lobsters caught here is better than that taken from the Atlantic waters. The lobsters are caught about the islands, nets and traps being used for the purpose. S. W. Waring is the superintendent. The present daily output of the plant is said to be from one-half ton to one ton of fresh lobsters as caught. Such an amount will furnish in the neighborhood of ten cases of four dozen one-pound cans each. From May 15 to July 15 the season will be closed. It is announced that the company will then build and arrange to do the work by a steam process, the plant to cost about $2500. The company has adopted a copyrighted label, which shows the goods to be a California product, and describes in brief the places where they are caught about the islands. It is said that the new plant will furnish employment for twenty people.”


March 23, 1897 [SBDN]: “We are favored by nature in being possessed of an abundance of one of the most palatable and dainty crustaceans in the whole world — the Santa Barbara Channel crawfish. This great animal finds its market in San Francisco instead of being consumed at home.”


December 11, 1897 [LAT]: “A carload of lobsters has arrived at San Francisco from Massachusetts, and been deposited in the ocean near the Farallon Islands.”


January 1, 1898 [LAT]: “…lobsters at 10 cents per pound…”


January 11, 1898 [LAT]: “The Redondo Breeze says: ‘Eight thousand pounds of crawfish have been shipped from San Pedro during the last two weeks…’ It is, however, of interest to note that a carload of lobsters was recently brought from the East and placed in San Francisco Bay, with the idea of propagating the species on the Pacific Coast.”


February 2, 1898 [LAT]: “Can Underwood’s lobster, 2-lb tins. 30¢.”


March 31, 1898 [LAT]: “Will pickle lobsters. The Catalina Conserving Company incorporated yesterday with a capital stock of $60,000. Of this amount, $40,370 has been actually subscribed. The company will engage in the packing and pickling of lobsters, and will build a packing house at San Pedro for that purpose. The directors are W. A. Ready, A. L. Hall, S. W. Waring, R. W. Kemp and Luke Kelly.”


April 6, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “It is announced that the Catalina Conserving Company, recently incorporated, will build a cannery in East San Pedro, and commence operations in canning lobsters in about three months.”


July 3, 1898 [LAT]: “San Pedro promises soon to be an important point for fish packing. The latest new departure in this direction is the building of a lobster packing establishment for the Catalina Conserving Company on the west side of the inner harbor. Apparatus for making cans will be installed. The lobsters will be packed in flat cans, in pound and a half sizes, and in ordinary cans. A twenty-four-ton schooner has been purchased, with a gasoline power engine, to be used in gathering the lobsters. It is expected that the plant will be in operation by the middle of this month. It is expected that about nine carloads of packed lobsters will be put up annually, the plant employing about twenty people.”


November 4, 1898 [LAT/SBer]: “The lobster-packing company, in order to reach the deeper water of the inner harbor channel, built a wharf out beyond the line of the channel, as defined by the government, and was required to remove the projecting portion. The company now unloads its lobster boat with a lighter.”


December 30, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “The powerboat Clemente arrived this morning with a ton of San Clemente lobsters for the Haniman Fish Company.”


December 17, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “…The Lizzie Belle W has a tonnage of about twelve tons, and was built here nine years ago by Captain D. W. Wedlt, her present skipper… Captain Weldt had a rough experience in bringing the craft in on her last trip from Santa Cruz Island. He had a cargo of five tons of lobsters aboard, when last Tuesday the engine gave out…”


January 8, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “The Catalina Conserving Company’s powerboat Lizzie Belle W, which was damaged by a gasoline explosion, is being repaired. The engine was not greatly injured and can be repaired. The boat is used as a lobster transport.”


March 25, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The largest catch of fish crawfish for the season was brought in by Sebastian Larco yesterday.”


March 30, 1899 [SBMP]: “The San Pedro Times announces the arrival of a vessel from Santa Cruz Island with eight tons of lobsters for the Catalina Conserving Company, and add that it expects to receive thereafter fifteen tons a week. The number of men and schooners engaged in the lobster trade have heretofore been limited to a comparatively small number, but it appears that their number has materially increased since the removal of the game warden. Owing to the close proximity of Santa Cruz Island to this city, the matter should be investigated by the proper persons to ascertain if the ordinances of this county governing the fisheries of those islands is being lived up to. If this matter of shipping a large number of tons of this fish from these islands each week is not restricted or prohibited, excepting in the open season, it will not be a great while until the waters will be entirely drained of this species of fish.”


April 4, 1899 [SBMP]: “The sloop Big Loafer left for Santa Cruz Island on a crawfish expedition yesterday morning.”


April 6, 1899 [SBMP]: “The largest shipment of crawfish ever made from this wharf was night before last — 93 sacks being sent in one shipment to San Francisco fish markets. The fishermen engaged in this business report a plentiful supply just beyond the islands and more big hauls are expected.”


April 6, 1899 [SBMP]: “The new warden will not accept a shot-gun policy… C. A. Loud, whom the Board of Supervisors honored by appointment as game warden, returned from Encinitas… Mr. Loud has not yet qualified, but his bond will be filed in a day or two, and then he can assume the duties of his office… The new game warden will also give attention to the crawfish and abalone interests…”


April 8, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “An effort is to be made by Charles A. Loud, game and fish warden of the county, to stop the shipment of crawfish under legal length to northern canneries. Nearly every steamer going north carries a cargo of crawfish from here, the shipments often going as high as 100 sacks. This trade will soon make the crawfish a thing of the past, and it is thought wise to put a stop to it at once.”


April 9, 1899 [SBMP]: “His first case. Game Warden Loud after the crawfish catchers. Four Italians charged with violating the game laws by shipping undersized lobsters… The names of the parties arrested are Augustino Mascarello, Nicola Olivera, G. B. Pucio and Francisco Maglio.”


April 10, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Game Warden Charles A. Loud caused the arrest last night of four Italian fishermen who have for some time been doing a large business in the shipment of crawfish from the banks of the Santa Barbara lighthouse to San Francisco. These men brought in seventy 150-pound sacks of crawfish in the afternoon and billed them for shipment on last night’s steamer. Loud, who has been watching recent shipments, at once attached the sacks and found a very large number of fish to be less in length than the nine and one-half inches required for legal handling…”


April 11, 1899 [SBMP]: “Crawfish threatened. The game warden occupied some time yesterday morning in sorting over some 50 of the 71 crawfish which he had stopped the shipment of Saturday night. About 250 of the number of fish sorted over were found to be under size and were laid aside and the remainder which came up to the requirements of the law he permitted to ship. The four men who violated the fish law in endeavoring to ship undersized crawfish appeared in Justice Wheaton’s court yesterday afternoon and pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $20 each... The crawfish companies were located on Santa Cruz Island and composed of from four to six men who had established camps at Gold [Gull] Rock, south side of island, southeast side of island, east side, Chinese Harbor, Tenters Harbor, Cueva Valdez, and maybe more...”


April 12, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The four Italians arrested for taking small crawfish were each fined $20 yesterday afternoon.”


April 12, 1899 [SBMP]: “It is believed by a great many fishermen on the channel that it would be a material benefit to all concerned if the spawning, or closed season for crawfish was lengthened out. The season should extend from April 15 to September 15, making a four months’ closed season. This would give the fish more time to deposit their eggs and they would be in better condition when taken.”


April 13, 1899 [SBMP]: “Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce… Game Warden Loud was present and addressed the board on the advantage and necessity of preserving the crawfish supply and asked the cooperation of the Chamber in enforcing the laws and securing the aid of the State Fish Commission in patrolling the islands. Mr. Loud gave some facts on the subject… what might be made a very important industry at home is being neglected, and a San Pedro company which gives employment to seventy-five or a hundred men allowed to violate the law and take crawfish from the Channel to the extent of fifty tons a week…”


April 15, 1899 [SBMP]: “Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Barbara… In the matter of appointing a Fish and Game Warden for the County of Santa Barbara… supervisors voted ayes… on motion it is ordered that Charles A. Loud be and he is hereby appointed Fish and Game warden for the remainder of the term which commenced on January 1, 1899, at a salary of $50 per month, and $25 per month as expenses upon filing a good and sufficient bond in the sum of $1000…”


April 15, 1899 [SBMP]: “Captain Preston, of the Big Loafer, in commenting upon the recent article in the Press on the crawfish industry, says that vessels run direct from the islands to San Pedro, loaded with the fish, but that in recent years none have been taken direct to San Francisco. He does not know how many tons are taken weekly.”


April 23, 1899 [LAT]: “Crawfish… The gasoline schooner Lizzie Belle W came into the harbor Saturday with seventy-five crates of crawfish. They were caught in the kelp beds off Santa Cruz Island, a little over sixty miles from this port. A finer lot of crustaceans would be hard to find. Many of them will weigh over twelve pounds each. They will be canned by the Catalina Conserving Company, whose plant is located a few hundred feet south of the customs house. The whole lot would weigh nearly seven tons and represents less than a week’s work of four fishermen. Their earnings from this catch was over $30 apiece. A great many crawfish are captured off San Clemente Island, but fishermen claim they are smaller than those taken further north. The water is deeper and the little animals have less vegetable matter to feed on.”


April 29, 1899 [SBMP]: “A factory may be established in or near this city [Santa Barbara]... At San Pedro, a lobster cannery is very successfully conducted, and the lobsters used are the Santa Barbara Island crawfish...”


May 5, 1899 [SBMP]: “Fishermen defy the law. Warden Loud goes to the islands to investigate. Game Warden Charles Loud and Constable Hopkins started for Santa Rosa Island yesterday, but had to put back to the shore after laying outside the kelp all day. They will make another attempt this morning to reach the island. Warden Loud has been ordered by the state fish commission to investigate reports of illegal crawfish catching, that is said to be carried on extensively in island waters. It is reported that one company alone has a contract to furnish a San Pedro firm forty tons of fish a month, that are taken at the islands. Five companies, the report that reached the fish commission says, are shipping fish from the Channel Islands.”


May 9, 1899 [SBMP]: “Constable Hopkins returned at 10 o’clock last night from Santa Cruz Island with three more fishermen arrested for violation of the new county ordinance against taking crawfish. The officer left for the island Saturday morning and began the return trip Sunday, but was becalmed in the channel all day and night and succeeded only yesterday afternoon and evening in completing the trip. These arrests, A. J. Kilger, George Cozens, and one whose name was not given, complete the force of men in the employ of the San Pedro Canning Factory whose depredations were called to the attention of the State Fish Commission and the game warden. Five were already under arrest, of whom two have plead guilty and paid fines and the trial of another is set for today…”


May 9, 1899 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara County’s new game warden is finding something to do, and if he keeps up the lick at which he has begun, will earn a good deal more than his salary. His latest movement is against fishermen who, he alleges, are taking crawfish from the waters about Santa Rosa Island.”


May 9, 1899 [SBMP]: “The King of San Pedro paid. Two fishermen plead guilty and three ask for jury trial. Henry Oliver and Fred Bohman, two of the fisherman arrested by Game Warden Loud and Hopkins on Santa Rosa Island and returned here night before last, yesterday plead guilty to the charge of taking crawfish out of season and were fined $20 each. F. Weidwewald, the “King of San Pedro” paid the bill and the fishermen were released. The other three, John Osterman, Henry Belcker and Peter Lind, entered pleas of not guilty and demanded jury trials. Bail was set at at $100 each, which they furnished, and the cases were set for trial as follows: Osterman, Tuesday; Blecker, Wednesday; and Lind Thursday of this week. H. C. Booth will defend the cases, that will be prosecuted by District Attorney Squier. In making the arrests the game wardens acted under instructions from the state fish commission, that had received word that crawfish were being caught at the islands and great quantities were being shipped to canneries at San Pedro. Crawfish were found in possession of the fishermen and were confiscated and liberated by the officers. They also took possession of the gasoline schooler Lizzie Belle W, that was used by the fishermen, and brought her here on returning. The Lizzie Belle W was formerly owned here and was sold by Captain Larco to the San Pedro canning factory people who have used her in the island fishing trade. Officer Hopkins went to the islands again yesterday to arrest three more crawfishers that were overlooked in the first haul.”


May 10, 1899 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, May 9. — Tons of fish given freedom. Second raid on Santa Cruz Island. Deputy Sheriff Hopkins and Game Warden C. A. Loud returned at midnight last night from Santa Cruz Island with three moer fishermen, arrested for having violated the State and county game and fish laws. These, with the five who were brought over several days ago, complete the force of men in the employ of the San Pedro Canning Factory, whose depredations were called to the attention of the State Fish Commission and the Game Warden. They have been shipping tons of crawfish to San Pedro from these islands in violation of the law, under which the season closed on May 1. Twenty-one cages of fish, containing about ten tons, were found and liberated. These had been caught recently and were just being put aboard a vessel for shipment to the factory. Of the first five men arrested on Santa Cruz, two have pleaded guilty and paid heavy fines. The case of another was heard before Judge Wheaton and a jury today, the District Attorney representing the prosecution and H. C. Booth the defendant, Peter Lind. Lind was accused of having taken and had in his possession two tons of live crawfish on May 5, 1899. The closed season on crawfish begins on April 15. The case will go to the jury tomorrow morning. From the questions propounded to the jurors and the witness it seems that the defense will be that the waters surrounding Santa Cruz Island are not within the jurisdiction of the State, while extending three English miles from the mainland, take in the islands, but not the waters surrounding them; that the ordinance of the Supervisors providing for a punishment for having crawfish in possession during the closed season without specifying where they were taken is extraterritorial and beyond the jurisdiction of the Board of Supervisors. The captain of the San Pedro Company's schooner and his mate were the only witnesses for the defendants. Charles Vogelsang, secretary of the State Fish and Game Commission, was in attendance and helped the prosecution. Santa Cruz Island has been claimed by Mexico and has been disputed ground for many years. Like Santa Rosa Island, owned by the A. P. More estate, and San Miguel owned by Captain W. G. Waters, Santa Cruz Island is a principality in itself. A number of years ago A. P. More, who had murdered a Chinaman, escaped punishment for his crime because the trial judge ruled that the waters surrounding the islands were not under the State's jurisdiction. It is currently understood that the case tried today is a test in the interest of the San Pedro Company, although this is denied by the attorney for the defense. The crawfish industry of the islands, it is estimated, is worth several hundred thousand dollars a year to the canners.”


May 10, 1899 [LAT]: “Deputy Sheriff Hopkins and Game Warden C. A. Loud arrived at midnight last night from Santa Cruz Island with three more fishermen arrested for having violated the State and County game and fish laws. These, with five others who were brought over several days ago, have been shipping tons of crawfish to San Pedro from these islands in violation of the law. Twenty cases of fish, containing about ten tons, were captured. The men pleaded guilty.”


May 10, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “The lobster fishermen who are supplying the Catalina Conserving Company, which has a packing plant here, have a grievance against the Santa Barbara County Supervisors. The cause of the trouble is an ordinance in effect in that county making it a misdemeanor to catch lobsters between April 15 and September 15. That makes the closed season much longer than the one prescribed by the State law, which period lasts only from May 15 to July 15. Nearly all of the lobsters packed by the Catalina Conserving Company are taken from Santa Cruz Island, which isolated territory is claimed by Santa Barbara County. Two of the fishermen arrested for taking lobsters from the shores of that island have each paid $20 fines rather than contest the case, and six more are on trial at Santa Barbara today. A representative of the company said today that exaggerated reports had been circulated in Santa Barbara to the effect that the company had been taking from twenty-five to thirty tons of lobsters per week. This, he said, is not true, for the capacity of the plant is only ten or twelve tons per week. The fishermen supplying the Santa Barbara trade with fresh lobsters, he was sure, had no just ground for grievance, as the quantity taken by the company had not reduced the supply sufficiently to hinder the Santa Barbara fishermen from taking lobsters from that island also…”


May 11, 1899 [LAT]: “Constable Hopkins and Game Warden Loud of Santa Barbara are making an energetic fight against the fishermen of the San Pedro cannery, who have been taking crawfish from the water around Santa Rosa Island in violation, it is alleged, of the ordinances of the Santa Barbara County Supervisors. The owners of the cannery will contest the matter in the courts, but as the Santa Barbarians are not likely to ‘crawfish,’ it is not apparent how the fishermen can defend themselves.”


May 11, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Peter Lynn, charged with catching crawfish during the closed season, ended this afternoon in a mistrial, the jurors standing six and six. He will be tried again on Friday. Two other men, who pleaded guilty of violating the fish and game laws, paid fines today.”


May 13, 1899 [SBMP]: “Captain Hall of the steamer Coos Bay, that was in port yesterday, gave it out that he has organized a company that will open a crawfish cannery and smoked fish factory in this city. Captain Hall bought from Captain Larco a 32-foot whale boat that will be used in the fishing trade here.”


May 13, 1899 [SBMP]: “John Osterman found guilty by a Jury. He violated the county ordinance providing for a closed season beginning April 26. Twelve Santa Barbara jurymen yesterday vindicated the county when they disproved the assertion that violators of game laws will not be punished…”


May 14, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “All of the cases against San Pedro crawfishers have been disposed of. Peter Lynn pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $40, and N. Christopherson was dismissed, he having been the cook of the crawfishing crew rather than a fisherman. John Osterman was found guilty yesterday afternoon in the crawfish business and fined $50. All together $315 in fines has been paid since the season on crawfish closed a short time ago.”


May 14, 1899 [LAT/SCat]: “On the 15th inst. The season for catching lobsters, as they are indiscriminately called, closes. None must be taken or found in any one’s possession for a period of two months from that date.”


May 20, 1899 [MD]: “Fishermen of Santa Barbara have been arrested and charged with the violation of the county ordinance in catching crawfish out of season off the Channel Islands for the San Pedro cannery.”


May 21, 1899 [LAT]: “Wealth of the sea…There has also been recently established at San Pedro a packing-house for the canning of crawfish, often erroneously described as a lobster. This enterprise has also proved highly successful…”


July 27, 1899 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara shifts her peg up several points with a brand new crawfish cannery, and the business community of the whole south coast says: ‘Good for Santa Barbara.’”


August 4, 1899 [SBMP]: “The Big Loafer yesterday left for the islands on a craw fishing expedition.”


August 16, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The Catalina Conserving Company’s new cannery opened its doors here this morning, and made a rest of its machinery. During the past month the company’s employees have been engaged in getting the plant ready for active operations. The season of crawfish opens today. On the Channel Islands are three crawfish camps. A cargo of fish may be expected tomorrow or Thursday. Canning persons will be given employment. The process of canning the fish will be the same as that used at the San Pedro plant. The fish, put into heavy wire crates, are killed by being dipped into boiling water. The shells are then taken off, and the meat packed into tin cans, it being protected by the tin by especially prepared medicated paper. The cans are then put into hot water and the crawfish cooked in the can.”


August 20, 1899 [SBMP]: “The gasoline schooner Magic, formerly the Lizzie Belle W, is overdue, and some apprehension is felt by the owners. The vessel belongs to the Catalina Conserving Company and will be engaged in bringing crawfish from the islands to the cannery.”


August 24, 1899 [SBMP]: “The gasoline schooner Magic, formerly the Lizzie Belle W, lies in three and one half fathoms of water in Rancho Viejo Bay, Santa Rosa Island... The Magic left this port Sunday morning with a cargo of camping paraphernalia and about ten fishermen, to establish a camp on the island. They went about Santa Cruz, but were unfortunate in not finding a suitable site for a fish camp, so on Tuesday morning they crossed the channel between the two islands, and about 10 o’clock landed at Santa Rosa wharf, where they went ashore and consulted with Mrs. Miller in regard to a permit to camp on Santa Rosa Island and fish for crawfish. This request was granted and they started about 11 o’clock for the Rancho Viejo where a camp was to be established. This is about eight miles from the ranch house and wharf. At one time the wharf of the island was at this point and there is a very good place to beach a boat... She belonged to Captain Larco of this city for some time, and was called Lizzie Belle W when he owned her. She now belongs to the Catalina Conserving Company, and it was their men who were aboard her when she sank. She has been used to bring over crawfish from the islands.”


August 29, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Petrel has come in from the islands with a cargo of crawfish. The cannery is therefore working today in full blast. About twenty-five men are employed. Tomorrow the regular boat from the islands is expected with more fish.”


August 28, 1899 [SBDI]: “The sail boat Petrel arrived at two o’clock yesterday morning with a heavy load of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company. This is the first consignment of fish for the company’s plant in this city, and to William Bates, the owner of the boat, is due the honor of bringing the first crustaceans to be canned in Santa Barbara. The machinery was ready for use and, although it was Sunday, the works were put in operation as soon as the boat’s cargo had been unloaded. The fish were carefully examined and sorted, the dead ones being thrown away. All in perfect condition were boiled in a large tank and afterward removed to another department where a large force of workmen took the meat from the shell, neatly washing it with water and brush. The meat from the legs was also removed for canning. The meat was placed in a large press where all water was squeezed out. When the fish had been properly dressed and prepared in a manner that insures preservation, it was placed in cans of four different sizes which were at once sealed. The cans were then placed in vats and again cooked. The process is so thorough and scientific that the fish are warranted to keep forever in the sealed cans. The scrupulous cleanliness of the establishment is an important factor. The cannery is located at the foot of the railroad pier, near the lumber yard. Here the fish are prepared., the boxes and cans made and the packing for shipment effected. More than twenty-five men are given employment in this city alone, while a number are engaged on boats and in various camps on the islands. It has already been determined that our crawfish are superior to the Eastern lobster, and as the latter are rapidly diminishing, it is evident that a great industry is springing up in this city.”


August 29, 1899 [SBDI]: “The sloop Big Loafer arrived from the islands today with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


August 29, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “The powerboat Dawn leaves this port this evening to operate in the lobster-catching business for the Catalina Conserving Company in place of the Magic, which was wrecked last week.”


August 30, 1899 [SBMP]: “The gasoline schooner Dawn came into port about noon yesterday. She will be used to carry crawfish from the islands for the canning company, and if all goes well will return with her first cargo Thursday or Friday.”


September 9, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “L. James, manager of the Catalina Conserving Company’s cannery, was arrested this afternoon charged with having in his possession crawfish under the legal length. He pleaded not guilty. The trial is not yet set.”


September 15, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “S. James, manager of the local crawfish cannery, was tried in a justice’s court here this morning on a charge of having had a short crawfish in his cannery. The jury disagreed. Two were for conviction and ten were for acquittal.”


October 13, 1899 [ ]: “The schooner Dawn arrived from the islands this morning with a large cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


October 28, 1899 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn arrived in port at 6 o’clock this morning with a large cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


November 7, 1899 [SBMP]: “The schooner Dawn arrived from the islands this morning with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company. Her continued whistling attracted a great deal of attention.”


November 7, 1899 [SBMP]: “The schooner Big Loafer returned from the islands with a party in search of crawfish.”


November 8, 1899 [SBMP]: “The gasoline schooner Dawn arrived from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with a large cargo of crawfish for the cannery.”


November 13, 1899 [LAT]: “A Santa Barbara cannery is advertising for four expert fishermen to take charge of its crawfish camps.”


November 25, 1899 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn arrived from the islands this morning with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


December 4, 1899 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn left for the islands this morning with a crew aboard in search of crawfish.”


December 11, 1899 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn arrived this morning with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


January 4, 1900 [SBMP]: “The schooner Big Loafer will leave for the islands tomorrow morning in search of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


January 9, 1900 [LAH]: “The sloop Marblehead, Captain Harry Olsen, sailed the fore part of the week for San Clemente Island to catch a load of lobsters.”


January 16, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Dawn brought over eight tons of crawfish from the islands today. This is considered a large cargo.”


January 20, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Big Loafer left for the islands yesterday for a cargo of crawfish.”


January 23, 1900 [SBMP]: “The schooner Dawn arrived from the islands this morning with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


January 24, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Dawn arrived from the islands yesterday morning with a cargo of crawfish.”


January 24, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Big Loafer left for the islands yesterday for a cargo of crawfish.”


January 27, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn arrived from the islands this morning with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


January 30, 1900 [LAH]: “The gasoline schooner Clemente arrived here Thursday from Clemente Island with 1500 pounds of lobsters and 1000 pounds of fresh fish.”


February 1, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn left port this morning for the islands to load up crawfish.”


February 17, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Dawn is due this morning with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


February 27, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn arrived from the islands today with four tons of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


March 3, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn will arrive from the islands with a cargo of crawfish tomorrow morning.”


March 20, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Dawn arrived from the islands this morning with a cargo of crawfish for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


March 22, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Big Loafer arrived this morning from the islands with a cargo of crawfish and rock cod for the Catalina Conserving Company.”


March 23, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Dawn left yesterday for the islands for a cargo of crawfish.”


March 27, 1900 [SBMP]: “The Dawn is due tonight or tomorrow with the last cargo of crawfish for the season. The cannery will close, under the operation of the game laws, April 1st. Superintendent James seems satisfied with the season's output, and states that the company will resume business at the old stand next fall.”


April 3, 1900 [LAT]: “The canning of crawfish at Santa Barbara having necessarily ceased with the beginning of the closed season, April 1, Superintendent James of the Catalina Conserving Company, which has been operating the cannery, has conceived the idea of turning it into a fruit cannery for a part of the coming season. His plan asks, however, the cooperation of some of the citizens of Santa Barbara, and no final decision has as yet been reached in the matter.”


May 24, 1900 [SBMP]: “Captain Sam Burtis will make the effort to raise the Magic. The wreck of the vessel said to be in very fair condition and worth saving. Captain Sam Burtis, with the schooner Kate and Anna, will make an effort this week to raise the gasoline schooner Magic, wrecked nearly a year ago off the southeast shore of Santa Rosa Island. The wrecked vessel was in crawfish service for the Catalina Conserving Company of this city. She contains valuable machinery, and Captain Burtis, after a thorough inspection of the hull recently, decided that she could be raised, or the engines at least saved, and he accordingly purchased the wreck from the underwriters at San Francisco. Captain Burtis will begin the task at once.”


June 2, 1900 [LAT]: “Harry Doddridge has purchased the schooner Francine, intending to fit her up as a floating establishment for the gathering and canning of California crawfish. An eastern market has made arrangements to handle the supply shipped to their place of business.”


August 17, 1900 [SBMP]: “The sloop Big Loafer returned yesterday from the islands with a load of crawfish.”


August 21, 1900 [LAT]: “The power launch Luella leaves today for San Clemente Island for a cargo of crawfish for the Los Angeles market.”


December 16, 1900 [LAT/SP]: “The powerboat Dawn sailed Friday for Anacapa Island. The powerboat Marblehead sailed today for Clemente Island. Both have gone for lobsters for the Long Beach cannery.”


January 12, 1901 [SBDI]: “Captain Vasquez arrived this morning from the islands in the sloop Petrel. The vessel brought over 14 sacks of crawfish for the San Francisco market.”


January 6, 1901 [SBDI]: “The sloop American Eagle, Captain Henry Dally, sailed for the islands this morning after a cargo of crawfish.”


February 25, 1901 [SBDI]: “Legislators imbibe wisdom from local experts. Sunday’s junket of Fish and Game committee expected to open way to many reforms. The fisheries of Santa Barbara channel will be the subject of a thoughtful report to the state legislature… through gaining personal knowledge of the situation, advise and legislate with understanding of the preservation of abalone and crawfish in the channel… The inroads that are made in the heathen Chinese into the abalone beds and the slaughter of baby crawfish by San Pedro pirates will be treated…”


March 2, 1901 [SBDI]: “Crawfish and abalone have the law on their side. The amended game and fish law, as passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Gage, offers protection to both the salt and fresh water game fishes… It is unlawful to at any time take or have in possession lobsters or crawfish less than nine and a half inches in length, measured from one extremity to the other exclusive of legs, claws or feeders, or any egg-bearing female lobster, or abalone the shell of which shall measure less than fifteen inches around the outer edge of the shell…”


March 9, 1901 [SBMP]: “The gasoline launch Peerless, Reese & Hunt, owners, arrived from the islands with a big cargo of crawfish.”


April 2, 1901 [LAH]: “The schooner Anna, Captain Harry Olsen, returned on Thursday from Anacapa, the sea being so rough that he could not make a landing. He left for the island on Saturday to bring back the men he left there, the lobster season closing today.”


August 15, 1901 [SBMP]: “The sloop Pearl has been hauled up high and dry on the beach and Frank Nidever is giving her a thorough refitting. The Pearl is one of the oldest channel craft, a roomy boat, and will be used the coming season in the crawfish trade.”


September 29, 1901 [SBMP]: “The Kingfisher, Captain Colice Vasquez, left for the islands last evening to fish for crawfish. The old Ocean King, formerly Mr. Hazard's yacht here, came in yesterday from San Pedro. She is now in command of Captain James Wright, and is on her way to the crawfish camps on the islands. The Ocean King is well known here.”


October 18, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “The schooner May, Captain Manha, arrived Tuesday from San Nicolas Island with three tons of lobsters.”


October 22, l90l [SBMP]: “The schooner American Eagle came in yesterday from the islands with a cargo of crawfish.”


October 27, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Last night a man by the name of Dickinson was brought up from Venice by Deputy Fish Commissioner H. I. Pritchard of Santa Monica, and a deputy constable of this city, and charged with violating the fish and game laws by catching crawfish under size. He pleaded guilty and was fined $40 for the offense. William L. Price of Serena was yesterday before Police Justice Wheaton on the same charge, and received a fine of $30.”


November 1, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “The launch Peerless came over from the islands last evening with a load of crawfish.”


November 13, 1901 [SBDN]: “The Peerless, Captain Nidever, came in yesterday from the island crawfish beds with a cargo of lobsters for San Francisco.”


December 8, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Judge Day of the Superior Court rendered a decision in the habeas corpus proceedings of Ah Jim, convicted of taking abalones under size prescribed by law. The decision sustained the lower court. The question involved was the validity of the Penal Code referring to the protection of fish. The petitioners held that abalones are not fish, and cited Section 26 of Article IV as the basis of their contention. Judge Day denied the writ and remanded the prisoner to custody. The ruling on abalones affects crawfish as well.”


February 21, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Twenty-five crawfish traps belonging to fisherman Larco, besides much other property of fishermen, have been destroyed by the recent high tides, and the fish have been driven far out into the channel.”


August 8, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The Peerless, Captain Frank Nidever, sailed for Santa Cruz Island yesterday with lumber and lath for the West Coast Fishing Company. The company is preparing for the crawfish season, and the material is for the construction of crawfish traps.”


August 16, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The season for crawfishing began today, and men are engaged along the Channel Islands in capturing them for the market. The gasoline launch Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday with traps and supplies for the West Coast Packing Company, which operates on the island. Indications are that crawfish will be as plentiful this season as they were a year ago, and with improved appliances for taking them, it is thought the season will be a prosperous one.”


November 16, 1902 [LAT/SP]: “Charles Bell, a local fisherman, who sailed as one of the crew aboard the schooner May, Captain Manha’s boat, when she took the three young Germans to San Nicolas Island to fish lobsters for the W. J. McGimpsey Fish Company of Los Angeles, was here today and said that the men left on the island are undoubtedly without provisions, as their supply at the start, more than two weeks ago, had not been enough to last over five days. He does not believe they will starve, because there are sheep on the island and fish are plentiful. The story in today’s Times relative to three men, who had come from San Nicolas in a small skiff, and who were encountered off the west coast of Catalina several weeks ago, is about a different set of fishermen. Bell states that that he is acquainted with the circumstances in that case, also; that it is a fact three men were taken to San Nicolas and left there with but a scant supply of food, and that when provisions gave out they equipped a small row boat with a 2 x 4 scantling, and put out for San Pedro, arriving at this point safely. The schooner Western sailed early yesterday morning for San Nicolas, and is expected back with the fishermen tomorrow.”


November 25, 1902 [LAT/SP]: “The schooner Clemente, Captain Romans, came in last night from the Santa Barbara islands with a ton of lobsters for the Morgan Oyster Company.”


December 19, 1902 [SBMP]: “Crawfish stories are quite the rage, and yesterday fisherman Frank Marincovitch discounted all recent efforts by bringing to shore a crustacean weighing 14-1/4 pounds, measuring 5-3/4 inches along the back, and only a half-inch short of three feet in length. Its feelers were a little over 14 inches long.”


January 7, 1903 [LAT]: “The schooner May, Captain Frank Manha, which has been engaged in the lobster fishing business between San Pedro and San Nicolas Island, went ashore on the rock at the south end of the island Saturday, and was battered considerably by the waves. The tug Warrior went to assist the May, and returned this morning with the schooner in tow. When the May had been brought past Dead Man’s Island into the inner harbor here, she filled with water and went to the bottom. She is worth probably $3000. It will cost several hundred dollars to get the schooner up and repair her.”


March 27, 1903 [SBMP]: “In the opinion of Santa Barbara fishermen, the crawfish, otherwise known as California lobster, is doomed to extermination. The canneries are taking every fish they can get, without regard to the regulations of the fish commission, as the law cannot be enforced without great expense, it remains a dead letter. The canneries, it is asserted, are catching great numbers of crawfish under the size allowed, and if the practice is not stopped there will be no crawfish in five years hence. Captain A. Larco, the pioneer fisherman of the Santa Barbara channel, gives this as his opinion: 'The crawfish are very scarce now. There are several camps of fishermen on several of the islands, and companies operating the canneries send vessels to these camps regularly to gather the catch. By this means hundreds of tons of the crustacean have been secured at the expense of the future supply.' A closed season of at least two years is advocated. If the taking of crawfish can be stopped for that length of time, the stock will have opportunity to replenish.”


August 12, 1903 [LAT]: “Santa Cruz Island off Santa Barbra was visited Saturday by Milo M. Potter… accompanied by Allan G. Frazier, agent for the Caire brothers of San Francisco, owners of the island. The trip was made for the purpose of inspecting the most attractive portions of Santa Cruz Island with a view to leasing it and developing a fine seaside resort at Pelican Bay and other attractive books where the game fish of the south coast run riot in the waters… Under the present owners a lobster and fish canning plant is operated there…”


August 17, 1903 [SBI]: “The crawfish season opened satisfactorily to those who trap them for the market. Although the season has been open but three days, thousands of crawfish, many of which are of immense size and fine quality, have been brought to this city from the islands for shipment to San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is understood the crawfish cannery that has been conducted for several seasons by Allen G. Frasier at Dick’s Harbor, will not be operated this season, for various reasons, and nearly all of those that are caught will have to be shipped to the coast cities for immediate use. The fishermen of commerce do not view the outlook with very high favor as they anticipate a glutting of the market and consequent low prices.”


August 23, 1903 [LAH]: “San Pedro, August 22. Captain J. E. Swensen of the yawl Leoni arrived in port this morning from San Nicholas (sic) Island, with a large cargo of crawfish. Swensen reports that all the fishermen have been warned to leave the island and adjacent waters. W. J. McGimpsey, owner of the schooner Nellie, claims to have obtained from the United States government a lease for the entire island for a period of three years. Last year McGimpsey drove all the fishermen away from their camps on the island, and this year he claims a three-mile strip all around the island and avers that he will not allow any fishing within those limits. San Nicolas is a barren, cheerless island, one of the Channel group. The greater part of the island is covered with sand and is worthless. A small portion is covered with coarse grass and a few sheep have been kept there, but at present there are no inhabitants whatever and aside from the few fishermen who have been going there the place is deserted. The local fishermen are very much excited over the situation and say they will fight for what they conceive to be their rights. They do not believe McGimpsey has any title to control the waters adjacent to the island, though they concede that he may have a lease of the island. The Catalina Island Company owns the island of Catalina, but has never attempted to control the waters around it. It is probably that if McGimpsey persists in his attempt to drive the fishermen away that there will be bloodshed over the matter. The fishermen maintain that they will fight for their rights and it looks as if there is trouble ahead. To the casual observer it seems like a case of dog in the manger, as McGimpsey is himself deriving no revenue from the island or the fishing grounds adjacent.”


September 4, 1903 [OC]: “The yacht Alleene encountered some very heavy weather while cruising the channel last Saturday afternoon. Captain Walker secured a good mess of crawfish and other varieties, and made sixteen miles from Anacapa Island to Hueneme in less than two hours. He will probably go to Santa Cruz next Sunday to take off the party of young men marooned there.”


September 16, 1903 [LAT/SP]: “When the little powerboat Leone arrived from San Clemente Island Sunday evening, she had on board four Chinese fishermen, who were arrested on the island by Fish Commissioner Hall, charged with having taken lobsters under size. They will appear for trial in Justice Downing’s court tomorrow.”


September 17, 1903 [LAT/SP]: “In Justice Downing’s court this morning the four Chinamen charged with having fished lobsters under size, pleaded guilty and were fined $30 each, which they paid.”


September 20, 1903 [SBMP]: “Violations of the State Fish Law… The crawfish cannery on Santa Cruz Island is also said to be violating the laws regulating the minimum length of crawfish caught to 9-1/2 inches.”


October 14, 1903 [SBI]: “Monster crawfish being prepared for the St. Louis exposition. That Santa Barbara county’s exhibit at the St. Louis exposition next year will include products other than those of a horticultural, agricultural and mineral nature, was made clear today when the Larco brothers delivered to Charles W. Merritt, secretary of the county commission, a huge crawfish which, in size, suggests a baby whale rather than the average shell-covered denizen of the rocky shores of the sea. The Larco boys caught the big fellow in one of their traps, which had been set in the channel a short distance off shore from this city. In length it measures exactly thirty-seven and one half inches, from end of the tail to the end of the feelers, about twenty inches of the tape is taken up in passing around the head, and an eighteen pound weight is required to balance the big fellow on the scales…”


December 11, 1903 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Sunday, December 9. Launch Leone, Captain Swenson, from San Nicolas Island, with 500 pounds lobsters.”


December 21, 1903 [LAT]: “Santa Monica. Constable H. I. Pritchard of this place, who is also deputy State game warden, with the seizure of two shipments of crawfish at Los Angeles Saturday, is laying up several nice Christmas dinners for deserving charitable institutions. There were three hundred pounds of crawfish in the two seizures…”


August 14, 1904 [LAH]: “San Pedro, August 13. The launch J. Wiley, owned by the California Fish Company, was burned to the water's edge in the inner harbor this evening. The fire was caused by the explosion of a gasoline stove. Lloyd H. Castle, a member of the crew, received painful burns, and it is possible that the flame which he inhaled will prove fatal. Two other members of the crew — Captain Charles Bell and Ed Grant — were on deck at the time of the explosion. They escaped uninjured to the dock. The J. Wiley had all her stores and provisions on board and was ready to start for San Nicolas with J. W. McGimpsey and a party of fishermen. Among other stores in the hold were 300 gallons of high-gravity gasoline. When this exploded the flames leaped high in the air, the flying sparks menacing the shipping and lumberyards and wharves. Ed Duffy, the local ferryman, did excellent service in towing numerous boats out of the path of the burning vessel. The Alpha, Elsie and Belle were directly in her path, with no one on board to care for them. These were towed to a safe mooring by Duffy, and the J. Willey was left to drift into the mud flats far up the stream. The J. Willey was built in 1896 by Charles Cookson for John Willey. She was valued at $4000. She is a total loss. Lloyd Castler, the burned man, states that he engaged in cooking supper. He stepped on deck and upon his return found the flame had gone out in the gasoline stove. He touched a match to relight the gasoline and the explosion followed. The fire endangered millions of dollars' worth of shipping and lumber in the harbor front. The burning of the J. Willey will cause at least the temporary abandonment of an expedition that gave promise of serious results, possibly entailing the intervention of the United States government and the services of a revenue cutter. W. J. McGimpsey of San Pedro claims to own San Nicholas (sic) Island, seventy miles southwest of here, and the exclusive fishing privileges in the surrounding waters within the three mile limit. These waters are noted as the best crayfishing grounds on the south coast. McGimpsey claims to have obtained San Nicholas Island ownership from the United States and states that the federal government has offered to protect this ownership with a revenue cutter, if necessary. At present between thirty and forty independent crayfishermen are camped on San Nicolas Island, waiting for the season to open August 15. These men dispute the alleged exclusive ownership claim and assert their right to fish San Nicolas Island preserves at will. McGimpsey has outfitted the J. Willey and was about to sail for the island with the avowed intention of evicting the thirty or forty campers. Those who are best advised prophesied grave trouble when the McGimpsey crew should have landed.”


August 14, 1904 [LAT/VC]: “Deputy Fish Commissioner Pritchard of Santa Monica, and Fish License Collector Davis of San Francisco, arrived from Anacapa Island this morning on the schooner Peerless, having in charge a party arrested for violating the lobster and abalone sections of the State laws. Charles Stokes, who resides on Anacapa, was brought over for taking lobsters out of season, while Messrs. Bay Webster and Henry Ireland were charged with taking abalones less than the size allowed by law. Each pleaded guilty and cheerfully paid his fine of $20. Today the officers start for San Nicolas and San Clemente islands. At the former place they expect to make a good catch of lobster fishers from San Pedro, while at San Clemente are a lot of Japanese who are said to be breaking the law.”


August 16, 1904 [LAT]: “Season opens for lobsters. Poachers who got ahead of law are arrested. Prosperity in greenish-brown wriggling hunks squirmed over the wharves at San Pedro yesterday. It was the first day of the lobster season… For days past, weeks past, the little lobster sloops have been cleaning away their decks and stealing away with huge deck loads of lobster traps to St. Nicolas, San Clemente, Santa Barbara Island, Anacapa — almost every island in the channel, to leave camps of lobster fishers. They are planted there in camps of two, not to return to the mainland until next April; and then $500 cash to the good if the luck is fair… The wild, uninhabited island of San Nicolas is considered to be the best lobster ground for the next two months… The fishers depend absolutely on the little sloops that ply to and from the mainland to bring them their provisions and take their fish to the market. Most of the fishers are Swedes and Norwegians…”


August 16, 1904 [LAT]: “Game Warden W. B. Morgan recently had about as close a call from burning at sea as he ever will have, and escape from it. Saturday night Morgan, C. O. Bell, W. J. McGimpsey and others had arranged for a cruise to San Nicolas Island on the gasoline launch boat J. Willey, belonging to the California Fish Company, and occasionally used in the sardine trade. While the Willey was lying at her berth alongside the California Fish Company’s wharf at about 7:30 o’clock Saturday evening, Morgan, McGimpsey and Bell were standing on the pier over her, waiting for the crew to announce that all was ready, when, without warning, a terrific explosion occurred; the hatches of the boat were blown off, a pillar of fire burst from her engine room and shot up in the air, while an agonized shout for help came from below… The man below was rescued, badly burned, and with all possible expedition the Willey was towed out into the channel away from the wharf, which she was setting on fire. She burned until 10:30 and illuminated the entire bay. Morgan’s mission to San Nicolas was to set free some hundreds of lobsters which fishermen at that place had illegally trapped and were keeping alive waiting for yesterday, which marked the opening of the season. Morgan was forced to call the trip off…”


August 17, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “On the waterfront. Port San Pedro, Los Angeles. Sailed. Tuesday, August 16. Schooner Edith, Captain Howland, for Clemente Island, for lobsters.”


August 20, 1904 [SFC]: “Fish Commission preventing deprivation. Acting upon reports of violations of the fish laws in the islands off the Southern California coast, Deputy Fish Commissioners John H. Davis and H. I. Pritchard were sent on a rounding-up expedition from Santa Barbara. At Anacapa Island they arrested D. Webster and Henry Ireland for having small abalones in their possession and Charles D. Stokes for having crawfish in his possession during the closed season. At Ventura the prisoners pleaded guilty and were fined $20 each by Justice Boling, which they paid. William Carlson paid the same amount before Judge Pierce at Los Angeles for having crawfish in his possession at San Clemente Island. Traps were found on the island containing live crawfish and upward of three tons were liberated and the traps destroyed.


September 2, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Captain Swenson of the power-launch Leone, which arrived last night with a catch of 6000 pounds of lobsters from San Nicolas Island, reports a desperate battle between a swordfish and two whales which occurred day before yesterday off that island and resulted in the death of both the whales, the bodies being later washed ashore by the tides and secured by Swenson. When first seen by Swenson the battle was at its height and the monsters of the seep were lashing the waves into fury in their desperate conflict, the huge bodies of the whales rising many feet out of the water in their attempt to inflict damage to their enemy. The swordfish, which was an exceptionally large specimen, had the fight all its own way, and succeeded in killing both its adversaries. The larger of the whales is about seventy feet in length and twenty feet in diameter, while the smaller is fifty-five feet in length and fifteen feet in diameter. The sword of the swordfish had entirely penetrated the body of the larger whale, and there were numerous jabs in the body of both. The bodies were washed upon the beach, and Captain Swenson made an ineffectual attempt to pull the small specimen off the beach and tow it to San Pedro, but the weight was too much for his engines. He thereupon covered the bodies with sand and will make an attempt to bring them over, using a larger boat. Captain Swenson states that he has been offered $100 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad to deliver the bodies of the whales at East San Pedro.”


December 4, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Movement of ‘Mosquito’ Fleet. Saturday, December 3. Launch Leone, Captain Swenson, from San Clemente Island, with 2000 pounds of lobsters.”


December 9, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “On the waterfront. Port San Pedro, Los Angeles. Arrived. Thursday, December 8. Launch Leone, Captain Swenson, from Santa Cruz Island, with 1830 pounds of lobsters; Launch Seminole, Captain Hyder, from Santa Cruz Island, with 3190 pounds of lobsters; Launch Rose, Captain Sjoberg, from San Nicolas Island, with 3000 pounds of lobsters.”


December 23, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Over four thousand pounds of lobsters will be dumped onto Los Angeles and vicinity for Christmas. The launch Leone, Captain Swenson, arrived from Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands with the large catch.


December 24, 1904 [LAT]: “Over four thousand pounds of lobsters will be dumped onto Los Angeles and vicinity for Christmas. The launch Leone, Captain Swenson, arrived today from Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands with the large catch.”


September 10, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Peerless, in charge of Captain Vasquez, left yesterday for Anacapa Island where there are some fishermen who have been catching crawfish. They have not sent in their catches lately, and it is believed that they have by this time accumulated a large supply of crawfish, which are now becoming rare and accordingly bringing a higher price.”


September 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Frank Nidever came over from the south side of Santa Cruz Island yesterday in his power schooner Peerless with thirteen sacks of crawfish. The crawfish have become scarce on this side of the channel…”


September 29, 1904 [SBMP]: “The crawfish are becoming very scarce, the catches reported being smaller everyday. The late storm has driven them from their common feeding grounds and makes it difficult to trap them. Captain Vasquez returned yesterday from the islands bringing back ten sacks full of crawfish, the catch of several fishermen of the last few days.”


October 6, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Colice Vasquez returned from the islands yesterday with a boat-load of fish, including fifteen sacks of crawfish.”


October 18, 1904 [SBMP]: “The gasoline launch Peerless returned yesterday from four fishing camps on Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands with thirty-five sacks of crawfish. A fishing boat brought over twenty-five sacks from other camps.”


November 2, 1904 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless has gone to the islands with supplies for the fishermen who are catching crawfish there. She will load on what fish have been caught there during the last three days and bring them in time for today's steamer. The Peerless has all the crawfish traffic between this city and the islands. The boat's owner controls five fishing camps there and carries fish for three others.”


November 8, 1904 [SBMP]: “The launch Pietra Legura came in from the south shore of Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon with thirty-five sacks of crawfish and a large quantity of deep sea fish.”


November 30, 1904 [SBMP]: “The yacht Peerless sailed yesterday for the crawfish camps on the Channel Islands.”


December 1, 1904 [SBMP]: “A large shipment of crawfish was made today on the steamer to San Francisco. It included 93 sacks. The Peerless came in yesterday with 66 sacks of crawfish from the islands. Of these, 41 were from the Peerless camps, 12 from C. Larco's camps, and 13 from San Pedro fishermen.”


December 4, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned from the islands yesterday with a cargo of crawfish composed of 40 sacks.”


December 6, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived. Launch Vittoria, Captain Falconi, from Santa Barbara islands with lobsters.”


December 29, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned yesterday from the islands with a load of crawfish. Crawfish catches are reported to be very light at present. For the first time during the present season the northbound steamer last Sunday did not carry from 60 to 100 sacks of crawfish to San Francisco twice a week from Santa Barbara. The market price on this delicacy is going up at present as the catches grow smaller.”


January 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez left yesterday for the islands with the launch Peerless after crawfish.”


January 6, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez has returned from the crawfish camp at Santa Cruz Island, bringing with him 40 sacks of crawfish. He captured a fine specimen of sheepshead, weighing eleven pounds.”


January 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless returned last Thursday from the crawfish cannery at Santa Cruz Island having on board 35 sacks of crawfish. The parties attending to the traps report that crawfish are getting scarcer everyday, and that soon the camps will have to be abandoned. The scarcity is not only confined to this locality, but is general further up the coast. It is suggested by those who are interested in the preservation of the crawfish interests that special legislation is needed to prohibit the trapping of crawfish for the next two years.”


February 11, 1905 [LAT/SP]: “Captain Munch of the power launch Rose, which arrived last night with a cargo of lobsters from San Nicolas Island, reports the accidental death by drowning of Johan Olafsen, a fisherman in his employ, Tuesday morning. Olafsen and Chris Jensen had a camp on San Nicolas Island and were looking after the interests of Munce. During a heavy sea one of the lobster traps broke loose and started to float away. When the swell drove it in 100 feet from shore, Olafsen plunged into the sea and swam out to the trap. Suddenly a huge breaker swept over the man and he sank and did not rise again. Captain Munce with the Rosa spent several hours looking for the body, but without avail. It is thought sharks may have seized the body and carried it away. Olfasen, it is stated, had about $250 in gold on his person at the time of his death. Nothing is known here regarding his antecedents.”


February 14, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Morgan Oyster Company is having a hard time in maintaining its fishing camps along the island coast. Their camps are on the outside of the islands and the rough weather which they have been experiencing has made fishing impossible and heavy seas have taken away almost all their tackle and traps. It has also been a very perilous matter to get supplies to the men, as the weather has been worse than for several years.”


February 19, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless, which has been waiting for several days to make a trip to the islands, made her way out yesterday for a short tour of the McGuire-Vasquez crawfish camps along the channel. She will probably return this evening or early Monday with a cargo of crawfish.”


February 19, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “The Morgan Oyster Company of San Francisco, has abandoned its crawfish camps on the Channel Islands, lying off this city, and will in the future employ no regular fishermen in these waters. This decision on the part of the company has been brought about by the recent bad weather at the islands, which has not only made fishing very unprofitable, but has destroyed boats and fishing tackle belonging to the company valued at about $1000.”


February 23, 1905 [SBMP]: “Mr. George McGuire and his nephew, Ralph Foote of Ogdensburg, New York, will leave this morning in the Peerless for the crawfish camps at the islands. They will spend several days inspecting the camps and ascertaining the best places for locating new camps along the outside of the islands. The catches at the islands have been very light of late, but there is a steady increase as the water clears up after the storm.”


February 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned yesterday after a successful trip to the islands... Thirty sacks of crawfish was all the catch, as bad weather had made the fishing almost impossible...”


February 28, 1905 [LAH]: “The launch Ruth, Captain Carl Jorgenson, arrived yesterday from Santa Barbra Island with 700 pounds of crawfish.”


March 11, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday. The crawfish camps at the island will be visited and a special effort will be made be the crew to catch seals.”


March 14, 1905 [SBMP]: “The schooner Peerless returned yesterday afternoon from Santa Cruz Island and is anchored in the channel. She brought back thirty sacks of crawfish. During the storm she was safely sheltered in China Harbor and sustained no damage whatever.”


March 16, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Blair and two seamen Eggerty and Wagner, all of San Pedro, were the three men who remained for so many hours on board Blair's 27-foot fishing sloop Owl. The men have been engaged in catching crawfish off the east end of Santa Cruz Island, but were blown across the channel in the heavy storm...”


March 16, 1905 [SBMP]: “Sailors battle with the gale... With a furious southeaster blowing and the sea running so high that no small boat could have lived five minutes, three fishermen were forced to remain for nearly twenty-four hours on board a small sloop. buffeted by the waves and in momentary danger of being swamped, in plain sight of nearly 100 able bodied men who were powerless to render assistance to the sufferers. Late yesterday afternoon the seas abated somewhat and three volunteers successfully lowered a small rowboat from the dock and rescued the fishermen from their perilous situation. Captain Blair and two seamen named Eggerty and Wagner, all of San Pedro, were the three men who remained for so many hours on board Blair’s 27-foot fishing sloop Owl. The men have been engaged in catching crawfish off the east end of Santa Cruz Island, but were blown across the channel... Captain Colice Vasquez, Albert Stafford and Frank Maglio made a successful trip to the [stranded] sloop and brought off the unfortunate men.”


March 17, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless, which outrode the storm at the Channel Islands and came in without harm, will return to the islands today after crawfish. The Peerless camps were not greatly injured by the storm, but Frank Maglio lost 35 sacks of crawfish and a great deal of fishing traps and tackle.”


March 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Owl, a 27-foot sloop which has been anchored east of the Stearn’s Wharf since late last Sunday night, sailed for San Pedro yesterday morning. This is the boat which came into the channel waters recently, manned by Captain Blair and two fishermen. They were engaged in catching crawfish off the Santa Cruz Island coast and were blown across the channel in the heavy storm Sunday…”


March 19, 1905 [SBMP]: “The schooner Peerless sailed yesterday for the crawfish camps on the Channel Islands.”


March 20, 1905 [LAH]: “The power sloop Leone, Capt. Swenson, came in last night from Santa Cruz Island with five men from the crawfish grounds. It was decided to give up further attempts at fishing, as the season is now nearing a close and also for the reason that their living quarters at the island had been demolished, most of their fishing paraphernalia had been washed away and the large crawfish receiver, which was filled to its utmost capacity, had been torn from its mooring and smashed on the beach, allowing the crawfish to escape. Captain Swenson had left Santa Barbara Wednesday and managed, despite the gale, to make the island. He found it impossible to reach Smugglers Cove and waited a distance offshore, pending abatement of the blow. At the fishing camp all was in confusion and the residue of moveable property was gathered together and packed on board and the camp was gladly deserted. The crew report that the sloop Rose, Capt. Muncie, was assisted from the supplies of the Alpha and the Leone. The Rose had partly drifted and partly sailed from Anacapa to Santa Cruz and her stock of gasoline and stores was greatly diminished, though the crew and boat were safe. Their intention was to await fair weather and set sail for San Pedro, and they may be expected within a few days.”


March 22, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless that was one of the fortunate to escape the recent storm, sailed to the islands yesterday for a load of crawfish.”


March 24, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned yesterday afternoon from a trip to the islands, bringing in 20 sacks of crawfish. This is probably the last catch of the season, which terminates this month, as the Peerless crawfish camps were very badly damaged by the strong northeaster that blew for three days the early part of this week. Many crawfish traps were lost in the rough weather.”


March 26, 1905 [LAT]: “Make change in game law… A compromise fisheries bill was also passed by the Legislature, providing that no crawfish or lobsters measuring less than nine inches exclusive of feelers can be taken; nor any abalones of less than fifteen inches in circumference…”


March 31, 1905 [OC]: “O. J. Peters, the former fish merchant of Hueneme who made many friends in this city last year, returned the latter part of last week from his stay on Santa Cruz Island, where he has been since about the middle of December. He is glad to be back in civilization… He has been engaged in the crawfish and abalone taking while over there…”


April 7, 1905 [SBMP]: “George McGuire, owner and operator of the Peerless launch and fishing camps, is making arrangements to increase the scope of his crew fishing enterprises off this coast. He has just finished a most successful season in that industry. He has maintained a number of fishing camps on the islands and has had universal success with his work, while several other companies have not done so well. Crawfish are increasing in demand as a table delicacy, and the wholesale price has advanced from $2.50 to $4.50 per 65-pound sack, so that the business is a paying proposition for those who know how to conduct it under adverse circumstances. Mr. McGuire is contemplating establishing a number of camps in other localities in this county where crawfish are plentiful...”


April 8, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “Captain McGuire, who has carried on a crawfish business off this port, is making arrangements to enlarge the scope of enterprise next season to several other localities, and will catch crawfish on a wholesale basis. He will also give much of his time to the business of collecting abalone shells, and will capture live sea lions for eastern zoos.”


July 9, 1905 [LAT/LB]: “Long Beach lobster as big as a boy. The illustration is that of the monster crawfish (Pacific Coast lobster) caught on a fish line Thursday evening off the east side of the pier by Frank Deffley, a veteran fisherman, who says in all his long years of angling he has never seen one so large. It is a wicked-looking animal, and sends shivers down the backs of the gentler sex. From the tail to the head it measures thirty inches, with a body twenty-four inches in circumference. The main feelers are each over eighteen inches, and the feet from which the claws are missing, over a foot long. It weighs eighteen pounds and is thought to be fifteen years old… “


August 22, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “A party of pleasure seekers from San Diego, who are spending their vacations in camp at Friar’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, had their pleasure marred by an unexpected visit from State Fish and Game patrolman, H. J. Abels, who caught two of the party in the act of drawing an old crawfish trap from the water. The trap contained a number of these inhabitants of the deep, as a result the two men were placed under arrest and taken into this city. They appeared before Justice Wheaton this morning to answer to a charge of catching crawfish out of season. They gave their names as Oscar Siberg and E. A. Wilkersham. They deposited $20 bail each and were released, returning to their camp in the afternoon. They contend that they were not in the act of catching crawfish, but were simply drawing an old trap from the water, but did so at an unfortunate time, for the launch Irene, with the fish patrol aboard, put in just at that time for water.”


September 17, 1905 [SBMP]: “The open season for the capture of lobsters and crawfish began on Friday and these delicacies of the ocean can be taken until the first of April. It is unlawful to capture them less than 9-1/2 inches in length. The local fishermen are beginning to bring in crawfish in unusual quantities. A large number of camps have been established on Santa Cruz Island.”


October 17, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene returned yesterday afternoon from a trip to Anacapa Island where she went after fish. She returned Sunday afternoon from Santa Cruz Island with twenty-five sacks of crawfish, which were shipped to the San Francisco market.”


October 29, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene, in charge of Captain Ira Eaton, sailed last night for San Nicolas Island after crawfish and other products of the ocean obtained on that island. She intended to make the trip a few days ago, but repairs delayed the departure. She will bring back two of the fishermen who have been there for several weeks.”


November 1, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene arrived yesterday morning from San Nicolas Island with a cargo of several tons of abalone shells and meat, which were procured by Clarence Libbey and Frank Nidever during the last few weeks. They will now engage in the crawfishing business for the San Pedro Canneries.”


November 3, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless came in from Santa Cruz Island on Tuesday with a load of crawfish, which were shipped by steamer to San Francisco markets. Crawfish are at present scarce, fewer being caught than at this season in preceding years. Frank Maglio also shipped crawfish to northern markets on the same boat.”


November 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene sails this morning for Santa Cruz Island in charge of Albert Stafford. The boat will visit several crawfish camps on the island and will bring in their catches on time for shipment to San Francisco on Sunday evening’s steamers.”


November 13, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Irene sailed for Santa Cruz Island and Anacapa Island yesterday morning, taking over a number of craw fishermen, who will give their time to that industry for several weeks.”


November 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Irene returned yesterday afternoon from Santa Cruz Island where she has been for several days working on the crawfish camps of Santa Cruz. Ira Eaton, who went over with the boat, remained on the island and will be busy for several days changing the location of the camps.”


November 21, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene returned from Santa Cruz Island on Sunday afternoon, and after unloading some crawfish caught at that island, left again for Anacapa Island. Ira Eaton returned from Santa Cruz with the boat. He reports that the channel was very rough, even before the strong wind of yesterday began.”


November 22, 1905 [SBMP]: “Yacht Vishnu will leave today in an endeavor to locate the missing boat Peerless. The power launch Peerless, eleven days out from this city to the west coast of San Miguel, has not yet been heard from... The Peerless sailed eleven days ago on what was figured out to be a four days’ trip to the wreck of the stranded schooner J. M. Colman; the purpose of the trip was to bring back the pony engine from the Colman. Captain Colice Vasquez was in charge of the Peerless. He was accompanied by Percy Bagley and experienced boatmen of this city: Roy White, a Bakersfield youth, George Godfrey, and two craw fishermen who were intending to remain at the camps on Santa Rosa Island...”


November 23, 1905 [SBMP]:Peerless home from San Miguel... The six men returning with the Peerless were Captain Vasquez, Percy Bagley, Roy White, George Godfrey, Carlos Ruiz, and craw fishermen who recently arrived in the city from Mexico.”


December 12, 1905 [SBMP]: “Word has just been brought in from Santa Cruz Island that three 25-foot power launches were sunk in the fierce gale that swept past the islands Saturday. They were the property of Avalon fishermen who have been camped at Smugglers Harbor for several weeks in search of crawfish. Two of the boats were torn from their moorings and sunk, and the third was capsized while two fishermen were in it. They were not far from shore and succeeded in reaching land by swimming. A larger launch owned by the same party was not sunk, and an effort will be made to raise the other launches if they can be located.”


December 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Irene will sail for Santa Cruz Island today in charge of Albert Stafford. She will visit the crawfish camps there and look after other business of a minor character. Rough weather at the islands has been disastrous to the crawfish business, washing away many traps and making catches small where paraphernalia was saved.”


January 2, 1906 [SBMP]: “Despite the recent rough weather, some crawfish are being caught at Santa Cruz Island. Frank Maglio yesterday brought over a boatload of them in his launch Pietra Legura which will be shipped to San Francisco on the first northbound steamer.”


January 4, 1906 [SBMP]: “The power launch Irene arrived from Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon with 16 sacks of crawfish which were shipped north on the steamer last night.”


January 7, 1906 [SBMP]: “The Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island with supplies for the crawfish camps and with the intention of securing a few seals.”


January 11, 1906 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless was at the wharf yesterday with a cargo of crawfish which were caught off Santa Cruz Island. The boat also brought back a large seal which will be shipped to a zoological garden in the east.”


January 11, 1906 [SBMP]: “The power launch Anita, Captain Henry Koch, will sail for the islands tomorrow morning after crawfish, which will be brought in on Sunday in time for shipment to San Francisco on the steamer State of California. The Anita will carry some passengers on her trip.”


January 17, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain Merry and Ira Eaton sailed for Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning after crawfish that have been caught by Eaton fishermen off that island.”


February 17, 1906 [SBMP]: “The schooner Peerless returned yesterday from San Miguel Island, having been stormbound there for the past eight days. Thirty sacks of crawfish from the camps on Santa Cruz Island were part of the cargo.”


March 20, 1906 [SBMP]: “The Pietra Legura sailed for the Santa Cruz Island crawfish camps.”


March 29, 1906 [SBMP]: “Frank Maglio the fisherman came in from the islands yesterday morning with the largest crawfish catch of the season in his power launch Pietra Legura. He had 80 sacks of crawfish that were caught off from Santa Cruz Island during the last four days.”


March 30, 1906 [SBMP]: “Crawfish camps are deserted. Season ended and fishermen leave islands... The crawfish season closes tomorrow, and the last of the local catches have been brought from the Channel Islands and prepared for shipment by steamer to San Francisco. The launch Peerless returned from the islands yesterday with a large number of fishermen who have been catching crawfish near the islands for several months. They have broken camps there and have brought all their equipment to this city. The boat brought in sixteen sacks. The crawfish business has become an important industry in this locality. Hundreds of pounds of fish are brought over from the islands every week and are shipped by steamer to San Francisco where they bring a good price in the open market. During the present season prices have been unusually high, ranging from 4 to 9 cents a pound f.o.b. Santa Barbara. The fishermen get from $2.50 to $6 a sack for their fish here. The season has not been a particularly good one. The shore camps were deserted early in the season and were moved to the islands where less than the usual amount of fish have been taken during the season. The good prices that have prevailed have had a tendency to bring profits up to the yearly average. There has been during the last season about twenty crawfish camps on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Anacapa islands. In all, these have caught on an average of 100 sacks a week, which bringing an average of $4 a sack, makes the crawfish catch of the present season worth about $10,800.”


August 22, 1906 [LAT/SB]: “A party of pleasure seekers from San Diego, who are spending their vacations in camp at Friar’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, had their pleasure marred by an unexpected visit from State Fish and Game Patrolman H. J. Abels, who caught two of the party in the act of drawing an old crawfish trap from the water. The trap contained a number of these inhabitants of the deep, and as a result the two men were placed under arrest and taken to this city. They appeared before Justice Wheaton this morning to answer to a charge of catching crawfish out of season. They gave their names as Oscar Siberg and E. A. Wilkersham. They deposited $20 bail each and were released, returning to their camp in the afternoon. They contend that they were not in the act of catching crawfish, but were simply drawing in an old trap from the water, but did so at an unfortunate time, for the launch Irene, with the fish patrol aboard, put in just at that time for water.”


September 18, 1906 [SBMP]: “Crawfish season opens with poor outlook for the market... Prospects are not very bright for the fishermen who make a specialty from this line of trade, for the prices are low and the fish are scarce. The wholesale and retail prices are usually quite high at the opening of the season when there is a big demand for the fish, but this year the opposite is the case... The retail price was 15 cents a pound at Larco's Fish Market last Saturday, and it is now 12 and one-half cents...”


September 19, 1906 [LAT]: “The crawfish season has opened again and the first catches of the year were brought in from the islands yesterday. Prospects are not very bright for the fishermen who make a specialty of this line of trade, for the prices are low and the fish are scarce. The wholesale and retail prices are usually quite high at the opening of the season, where there is as a rule a big demand for the fish, but this year the opposite is the case. The wholesale price was several points lower yesterday than it was last year, and has dropped since the first quotations were received from the north. The retail price was 15 cents a pound at Larco’s fish market last Saturday, and it is now 12-1/2 cents. Fishermen believe that the bed rock has been reached now and that prices will go up as soon as it is generally known that crawfish are scarce this year. A lack of supply and demand will probably create a greater demand, and prices will go up.”


September 20, 1906 [SBI]: “The steam launch Victoria arrived in the harbor this morning from Santa Cruz Island bearing the largest crawfish catch of the season. She carried fifty sacks, all of which will be sent north tonight by the Wells Fargo Express company. Captain Falcone, who is in command, has five men at work for him on the island and asserts that the season is nothing out of the ordinary. The Victoria will return to the island tonight or early tomorrow morning.”


September 21, 1906 [SBI]: “The launch Irene, Frank Nidever, captain, which has been in the harbor for the past two days, will leave this afternoon for Forney’s Cove, Santa Cruz Island. Captain Nidever on Tuesday brought eighteen sacks of crawfish from the fishers at the cove. He reports that the fishing is as good as in previous years, but that the market is not strong. The prices which the first shipment brought were a disappointment to Santa Barbara fishermen. Captain Nidever says the only way he can account for the low prices which are being received in the north is that the destruction of San Francisco has brought new conditions and lessened the demand. ‘There is a new class there, a kind that don’t eat lobsters or crawfish,’ he says. ‘The market in Los Angeles is no better.’ The Leone, a gasoline launch, and a crawfisher, with Captain Swanson in command, arrived in Santa Barbara this morning from San Pedro and will leave tonight or tomorrow for the island. Captain Nidever and his partner, Ira K. Eaton, are handling the catch of four crews. The Irene will return to Santa Barbara Sunday night in time for the northbound boat.”


September 25, 1906 [SBI]: “The schooner yacht Victoria of San Pedro arrived in this port this morning with about fifty sacks of crawfish that had been taken from the traps along Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands. She will return to the other side of the channel for another load of the crustaceans, which are being shipped in large numbers to San Francisco, Los Angeles and other points.”


September 26, 1906 [SBI]: “Since the opening of the season for the taking of crawfish several large-sized boatloads of the crustaceans have been brought to the mainland from the islands and discharged at the commercial wharf for shipment to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The gasoline launch Scotland, a boat from one of the southern ports, arrived in the harbor today with fifty sacks of crawfish that had been trapped along the northern coastline of Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands. At certain points on the other side of the channel the crawfish are quite plentiful, but at other points the fishermen report having had very poor luck since they began setting their traps at the opening of the season. On the whole, however, the season thus far has been considered fairly good.”


November 3, 1906 [SBMP]: “Sloop Nestella reports damage to Santa Rosa wharf and wreck of launch. The sloop Nestella, Captain John C. Robarts, a San Pedro vessel that has been engaged in the crawfish industry at Santa Cruz Island, brings the report to this city that the wharf at Santa Rosa Island was demolished by heavy seas some time during the present week…”


November 3, 1906 [LAT]: “News reached this port today, through the captain of the sloop Fawn, of San Pedro, a vessel that has been engaged in the crawfish industry on Santa Cruz Island, that, when passing Santa Rosa Island, which is about forty miles to sea from this port, he noticed that the 200-foot wharf of Santa Rosa Island Company had been destroyed...”


January 4, 1907 [SBMP]: “Crawfish are plentiful. The Irene, in charge of Frank Nidever and Ira Eaton, has arrived from the Channel Islands with a big load of crawfish. The men report that since the heavy storms and the water has settled, the crawfish have come out of the deep water and the caves and are easily attracted to the trappers.”


January 6, 1907 [SBMP]: “The Peerless sailed yesterday for Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands, carrying a number of crawfish traps that have been manufactured since her arrival here a couple of days ago. These will be distributed along several island camps from which Captain Frank Nidever and Ira Eaton have been making so many large catches of crawfish during the past couple of weeks.”


January 8, 1907 [SBMP]: “The fishing launch Victoria sailed for the crawfish camps of Santa Cruz Island yesterday.”


January 22, 1907 [LAT]: “Unless something very definite and tangible is done by the present Legislature, the California crawfish, commonly called lobster, will be a thing of the past in a very few years. Where dozens of men used to make a good living catching lobsters for a shilling a pound, a handful cannot make both ends meet on six times that price, for the fish are not to be had in any number worth while, even if long trips are taken in pursuit of them. The 9-1/2-inch size limit for lobsters is enforced as well as the present facilities will permit, but it continually is violated. It prevents the size of undersized lobsters, but does not stop the fishermen from catching them, and that is the real object of the law. The Japanese are chief offenders in this regard. They save the undersized lobsters for fish bait, and set their lobster nets in such a veritable fence around the rock reefs and kelp tangles where the lobsters live that all sizes, big and little are bound to be caught.”


February 17, 1907 [LAT]: “Never in the history of the State of California have so many bills relating to fish and game been presented to the Assembly as during the present session of the Legislature in Sacramento… In another bill, No. 385, protection for lobsters or crawfish, is provided in the following terms: ‘Every person who prior to the 15th day of September, in the year 1909, buys, sells, takes, catches or kills or has in his possession any lobster or crawfish, or who at any time offers for shipment, ships or receives for shipment or transportation from the State of California to any place in any other State, Territory or foreign country… is guilty of a misdemeanor…”


February 19, 1907 [SBMP]: “The steam schooner Irene reached Santa Barbara yesterday morning from Prisoners’ Harbor with a load of crawfish. Captain Nidever reports the crustaceans very plentiful.”


March 2, 1907 [SBMP]: “A new boat belonging to San Pedro fishermen, the Estella, is in from Santa Cruz Island with a load of crawfish.”


March 28, 1907 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene, Captain Frank Nidever, arrived from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with 45 sacks of crawfish and having in tow the launch Ina C, picked up disabled in the channel...”


March 29, 1907 [SBMP]: “Horace Lawn who has been at Santa Cruz Island for the past four months in charge of one of the crawfish camps, has returned to Santa Barbara, the crawfish season having closed. Mr. Lawn reports that the rains have made camp life on the island rather strenuous. Floods have been frequent, and there have been many changes in the topography of the islands as a result of the storms. The camp was located on the west end of the island. Lawn was formerly lieutenant of the Santa Barbara Fire Department.”


April 28, 1907 [LAT]: “Amended game laws become effective… Lobster or crawfish, none to be taken less than 11 inches in length exclusive of feelers, September 15 to February 15…”


May 1, 1907 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene, Captain Nidever, goes to Monterey Bay to engage in salmon fishing until the next crawfish season begins September 15. The last legislature changed the law relating to crawfish, the required size being raised to eleven inches, not including the feelers, and the season closes February 15 instead of April 15 as in the past.”


August 24, 1907 [LAT]: “John C. Wray, deputy Fish and Game warden, this morning caused the arrest of Lewis Rugard, steward of the steam schooner Cascade, charging him with having twenty-two pounds of crawfish in his possession, caught out of season. Rugard claimed to have purchased the fish from local fishermen, and was not aware of the existence of the law. He was fined the nominal amount of $10 with the understanding that he would make an attempt to find the fisherman who sold him the crawfish. Deputy Wray states that within the past ten days he has destroyed fifteen crawfish traps located between Deadman’s Island and Portuguese Bend, that have been taking the product unlawfully… Wray has made arrangements to patrol the coastline and Channel Islands for offenders.”


September 1, 1907 [LAT]: “To capture small crawfish breaks the law… The attempt of the State Legislature to curb the reckless greed of the crawfishers is the main cause of the rise in price. To save the remnant of the crawfish from absolute extermination, the law now provides that none may be caught measuring less than eleven inches… About the only places where they can be found is about the islands — Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Clemente and Anacapa… It takes about four or five years for a crawfish to mature to this point…”


September 15, 1907 [LAT]: “Eastern lobsters for the Pacific. Another attempt will be made this mnth, says the San Francisco Chronicle, to plant the common lobster of the North Atlantic coast — the Homarus Americanus of the scientists — to Pacific waters. Five attempts have already been made, most of them in conjunction with the California State Fish Commission… The last experiment made on the Pacific Coast was in 1906…”


September 17, 1907 [LAT]: “The launch Leone, Captain Swanson, arrived here this afternoon from San Nicolas Island with one of the first lobster catches of the season, taken at the islands.”


September 22, 1907 [SBMP]: “The schooner Baltic of San Pedro arrived in this port last night with a cargo of crawfish from the islands.”


October 15, 1907 [SBI]: “While fishing for rock cod with a small hook and line near Santa Cruz Island yesterday, J. Larco of this city pulled in a jewfish weighing 275 pounds. It was a surprise to both fisherman and fish, and for a time it was a toss-up whether Mr. Larco should haul the big fellow into the boat or be by it hauled into the channel. Mr. Larco is at the island crawfishing.”


October 16, 1907 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene came over from the islands with a load of sixty sacks of crawfish, picked up at various camps. The crustaceans will be shipped north.”


October 26, 1907 [SBMP]: “Ira Eaton arrived Thursday in the launch Irene from Forney's Cove, Santa Cruz Island, bringing 25 sacks of crawfish.”


November 17, 1907 [LAT]: “Lobster fry from Maine are to be sent to California and planted in the Pacific Coast, and it is reported that Maine lobster men doubt the success of the experiment… Larco, the dean of the fishermen’s guild at Santa Barbara, said… Monterey Bay was not a good place for lobsters. The rocks and seaweed of the Santa Barbara channel, said Larco, supplied the proper environment for lobsters.”


December 11, 1907 [SBI]: “The heavy sea of the past two weeks has been playing havoc with the crawfish traps of the fishermen on the islands. The men are kept constantly at work repairing or replacing them. Nevertheless, the catches are fairly good. The Irene returned last night with about 50 sacks aboard, and Captain Vasquez brought in 10 sacks from only a day’s trip. The sea has been so heavy of late that the fishermen have not dared approach the beds about San Miguel Island, where are some of the best crawfish grounds.”


December 11, 1907 [SBMP]: “...The Irene also brought back 52 sacks of crawfish from the island fishing camps...”


January 5, 1908 [SBMP]: “Gets monster jewfish in net. Marine curiosity weighing 400 pounds caught opposite lighthouse. Paul Delaini, a local fisherman, succeeded yesterday, with the help of a sailor, after a desperate struggle during which the enormous brute came near upsetting the boat, for it weighs nearly 400 pounds and is one of the biggest seen on this coast for a long time. It was caught in a net… In addition to this monster fish, Delaini caught a sack full of unusually large crawfish, which corrects the prevailing impression that these toothsome crustaceans can only be trapped around the islands.”


February 8, 1908 [LAT/SP]: “The fishing power launch Leone, Captain Swansen, has returned from a trip to Santa Cruz and other Channel Islands, bringing back but a small catch of crawfish. Captain Swansen reports that the recent storms were especially severe on the islands, and nearly all the men who have established fishing camps on the various islands sustained loss or damage to their outfits. The crawfish traps and storage boxes, as well as the small boats and camping outfits were destroyed by landslides and the heavy swells. Charles Wilson, who has a camp on Santa Cruz Island, lost $200 worth of crawfish which were ready for shipment to the mainland. Most all the provisions in his camp were destroyed by the rush of water from the uplands and the small fishing boats were smashed by the breakers on the beach. The Dubbin brothers, who had established a camp on Anacapa Island, sustained similar losses. In one particularly heavy downpour six inches of rain fell in two hours.”


February 9, 1908 [SBMP]: “Returning to San Pedro from Santa Cruz Island after 17 days on a trip which usually occupies four, the fishing launch Leone, Captain Swenson, Friday brought a report of terrible suffering and narrow escape from starvation among campers on the island. George Maxwell, Charles Wilson and J. Gilbert, who endured severe hardships, came on the Leone. The rain was the heaviest ever known on the island, the cloudburst dropping six inches of water in two hours. Floods rushed shoreward... while all small boats were shattered on the rocks. Many hundred dollars' worth of crawfish stored for market were washed away, and more than the season's profit vanished.”


March 30, 1908 [LAT]: “Deputy Game Warden John C. Wray left here today in the launch Petrel for a two weeks’ inspection of fishing conditions and equipment on and around the Channel Islands. Accompanying Warden Wray are Professor George H. Andrews of the Smithsonian Institute and Dr. Joseph B. Tanner and John M. Beckwith of Los Angeles. The party will land first on Santa Cruz Island and later Anacapa, San Clemente and San Nicolas, returning via Santa Catalina. An inspection will be made of all lobster traps on the islands.”


August 18, 1908 [SPDN]: “Mr. [Fred] Caire expressed satisfaction with the action of the legislature in prohibiting the catching of crawfish or abalone for two years. There will be no fishing permits on the island this year, in consequence. ‘I can remember when we could see large numbers of crawfish along near the shore at Prisoners’ Harbor,’ he said. ‘They are one of the choicest sea foods, and the supply should be protected. Fishermen have been careless in observing the legal limits as to size, and no one knows how many undersized have been shipped to San Pedro and other markets.’”


August 28, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Henry Short will leave for the islands today with an outfit for crawfishing, in preparation for the opening of the season, September 15.”


August 28, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain Henry Short started yesterday for Santa Cruz Island with men and outfits for two crawfish camps. The crawfish season opens September 15, but the men will put in the time in the interim building traps, etc., and making ready for the first of the season.”


September 1, 1908 [SBI]: “Crawfish become scarce and need law’s protection… From 50 to 100 camps will be established on the shores of the Santa Barbara islands within the next ten days, by crawfishers, most of whom will go to the islands from Santa Barbara. Every powerboat on the water front has been chartered to take over the wooden traps which are used in snarling the most prized of all Pacific coast seafood… The largest fish dealers of this city, including Sebastian Larco, are strongly in favor of the movement to prohibit crawfishing for 12 months in the year for a period long enough to restock the waters of the coast… According to George W. Gourley, the provision of the state law which prohibits catching of crawfish less than 11-1/2 inches long is of little benefit. ‘Under-sized fish are either eaten by the fishermen in their camps or used for bait in catching other fish for bait,’ said he…”


September 2, 1908 [SBI]: “… G. M. McGuire declares that under-raised crawfish are seldom thrown back into the water when they get into the trap of a fisherman. Instead the small fish are eaten by the island fisherman or used for bait…”


September 14, 1908 [SBI]: “Practically every professional fisherman in Santa Barbara and for miles along the coast on either side spent today planting crawfish traps at the bottom of the ocean close in shore. It is estimated that at least 1000 will be in place along the coasts of the Santa Barbara channel when the season opens at 12 o’clock tonight. Many traps were anchored to the bottom days and even weeks ago, the fishermen declaring that it was necessary to soak the new wood thoroughly and get rid of the odor of new lumber before the fish would enter them…”


September 16, 1908 [SBI]: “Crawfish are now on sale at local fish markets. The first catches were brought in yesterday and today. The price is 20 cents a pound. Fishermen along the coast of Santa Cruz Island have not yet brought in their first catches. The traps are taken up every morning. So far light catches are reported.”


September 24, 1908 [SBI]: “The launch Baltic came over from the south side of Santa Cruz Island with 20 sacks of crawfish for the Larco fish market. The fishermen report improvement of fishing around the islands. Captain Dan Pico was in charge of the boat.”


October 14, 1908 [SBI]: “Crawfish are not seeking the public eye just now. Indeed, the less they are noticed the better they are pleased and the fishermen, who have hitherto found it easy to make a haul are now complaining of the coyness of the crustacean.”


October 24, 1908 [SBI]: “The Baltic, Captain Gilbert, brought the second largest crawfish catch of the season to Santa Barbara from the islands last evening. Thirty-eight hundred pounds of the crustaceans were brought over. Considering that the crawfish are “shelling” and have gone into the rocks and are hard to secure, it is a good haul. It is not expected that any record-breaking catches will be made this season, owing to a scarcity of fish. In any event, until the shelling season is over, which will be about two weeks, catches will probably be light.”


October 25, 1908 [SBMP]: “More reports of the scarcity and wariness of crawfish reached here yesterday on the power schooner Baltic, Captain Gilbert declaring that catches are short. The crustaceans are shedding which makes their capture difficult.”


October 25, 1908 [SBMP]: “Aguina Larco reached here yesterday from Point Conception, where he had been crawfishing, to secure surgical assistance for an injury to one hand, which threatened to develop blood poisoning. The wound was dressed by Dr. Bainbridge.”


October 29, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain Henry Short returned yesterday afternoon on the launch Charm from the islands, bringing over a cargo of crawfish.”


November 11, 1908 [SBI]: “Word was received in Santa Barbara today that an Italian fisherman named Lucero was drowned off Santa Cruz Island last Saturday while fishing. Although details of the accident are meager, it is understood that Lucero was engaged in crawfishing. Whether the skiff was overturned by Lucero, while pulling up his traps, or whether it was capsized by a wave, is not known. The skiff drifted in later, however, as mute evidence of the death of its occupant. Yesterday brother fishermen were still looking for the body of the drowned man, but last night no trace of it had been found. It is thought the body became lodged in the kelp beds where it is probably held. Lucero was working at the Scorpion Camp on the south side of Santa Cruz Island. The sea has been running high for several days an don the south side of Santa Cruz in particular the water has been very rough.”


November 11, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain Fred Fanning and Dwight Faulding made a run over to the islands Sunday in the Wynona. They visited the various crawfish camps, but report very poor catches.”


November 21, 1908 [SBMP]: “Lucero’s body found at sea. Coroner A.M. Ruiz and S. R. McDonald, and assistant to undertaker S. T. Ricketts, will leave here this morning on a power schooner with Captain Vasquez for Santa Cruz Island, to bring to this city the body of Lucero, the crawfish catcher who was drowned off the island on November 7. Lucero and a fellow fisherman left Scorpion camp on Santa Cruz Island on November 7, in a rowboat, to visit another camp. It is believed they were intoxicated, according to the coroner, when they left. The boat was upset and Lucero’s companion declares he never saw him after the boat capsized. Last Sunday a fisherman found the body of Lucero entangled in the kelp off the island, near the spot where the tragedy occurred. He towed it ashore, where it has remained ever since. Word was sent here yesterday and Coroner Ruiz arranged to leave today.”


November 24, 1908 [SBI]: “Although the rough weather yesterday interfered with crawfishing, two heavy catches were brought over from Santa Cruz Island by the crews of the Baltic and the Ina C. The boats had something over a ton of fish each. It is reported that the industry is picking up materially, rather contrary to expectations...”


November 28, 1908 [SBI]: “Fishing at the islands has been considerably hampered for the past few days owing to the fact that the recent storm either badly injured or demolished about half a dozen boats of the Italian and Japanese fishermen. According to reports from the islands, four boats were lost at Cueva Valdez. A large skiff used by the Japanese as a sailboat, was washed ashore and broken up at Hazzards. Other boats are reported missing. Not in the last 20 years, fishermen say, have the waves rolled as high as in the recent storm. It was reported among fishermen at the time of the storm, that both the Baltic and the Peerless failed to weather the gale and went down. The Baltic was here at the time, and the Peerless has since been reported safe. The loss of the Japanese sailboat probably caused the rumor of the loss of the Peerless, as she is owned by Japanese. It will be several weeks before the wrecked boats are repaired or replaced, and in the meantime skiffs are at a premium. Crawfishing is still reported good, and it is expected that several large catches will be brought in tomorrow.”


November 29, 1908 [SBMP]: “Crawfish are somewhat more plentiful than they were a week ago, recent stormy weather having apparently made the crustaceans hungry.”


December 9, 1908 [SBMP]: “There is some size in the crawfish being caught at Santa Cruz Island. In a letter to the press, Joseph Morales, half-brother to Maggie Cavallero…states that he caught one that weighed 23.5 pounds and shipped it by Captain Vasquez to San Francisco. The Morales camp is at Fry's Harbor.”


January 9, 1909 [SBMP]: “According to Captain Gilbert of the power schooner Baltic which arrived here from Santa Cruz Island, there has been considerable trouble among the crawfishermen of the islands for some days, and shooting scrapes have been reported. He brought over two wounded men, one with a bullet that entered his cheek and passed out the back of his neck, and the other, Julius Valdez, slipped on a rock, it was stated, and so hurt himself. The man with the bullet wound was attended by a local physician. ‘Valdez slipped and fell on a rock,’ said Captain Gilbert last night, ‘and when we arrived at his camp where he was in company with Frank Nidever and Ira Eaton, we had to take him aboard and bring him here for medical treatment.’ He is at his home. There has been a good deal of stealing from the traps of the craw fishermen, and the latter are guarding their traps with weapons. It is dangerous for any one to approach these camps from the water, for fear of being shot. ‘We went into the camp of Clarence Levy [Libbey] and Charles Hansen on Tuesday, and Levy [Libbey] fired at us with a rifle as we sailed in. He said it was merely a salute, but the bullets flew mighty close. When we got to Prisoners’ Harbor, we found a man with a bullet wound in his cheek, the bullet having come out of the back of his neck. He said he shot himself, but I don’t know whether this was right or not. He was a fellow named Bill, and I think his last name was Johnson.’ He was attended by a doctor here. He was a partner of Joe Warnell, and after he was shot, Warnell went over to the camp of Joe Morales and the two got into a skiff and went to Prisoners’ Harbor. As they approached the shore, they say, they were fired at by some Italian fishermen on shore, who used rifles. The bullets struck the boat. They continued on to the shore, however, and made arrangements for bringing over the wounded man. We got there on Wednesday, took the wounded man on board, and started for home. The weather there was pretty bad and the sea ran high, but we had to come over with those two fellows, and so we ran for it. There are about forty camps on the island of from one to three men each, and they are all armed.”


January 9, 1909 [LAT/SB]: “War declared by fishermen. Rifles used at Santa Cruz Island camps. Trouble is due to alleged stealing of crawfish… According to reports brought in by the schooner Baltic today, craw fishermen on Santa Cruz Island are at war. The trouble is due to the alleged stealing of crawfish from traps… On the way to the camp of Clarence Libbey and Charles Hanson, Tuesday, we were fired upon by Libbey, who used a rifle…”


January 29, 1909 [SBMP]: “Joe Morales returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday, telling a tale of his loss of his boats and equipment at his craw fishing camp on the island. He says the recent storm did great damage to the other camps, and he intends to return to the island as soon as he can get supplies and a boat to carry them to those who need them across the channel.”


February 5, 1909 [SBI]: “Reports from Santa Cruz Island say that crawfishing has been excellent during the past week, and large catches have been made. For two or three weeks during the recent stormy weather catches were very light.”


February 14, 1909 [SBMP]: “The fishing fleet which went out to the islands just prior to the big southeast storm got in yesterday afternoon with the last load of crawfish allowed by law this season. This included the Baltic, Peerless, North Star and the Gussie M...”


February 18, 1909 [SBI]: “Crawfishermen who have just come over from Santa Cruz Island say that the fishing is good, and that everything is quiet and peaceful on the island.”


February 22, 1909 [SBI]: “Crawfishing on Santa Cruz Island is good, and big catches are made.”


March 1, 1909 [SBI]: “C. A. Merritt received a communication today from Senator L. H. Roseberry of this district, that the bill relating to the preservation of seals and sea lions, and the bill relating to abalones and crawfish and other fish had been introduced into the upper house at Sacramento and stood very good chances of becoming part of the law of the state…”


March 5, 1909 [SBI]: “Several crawfishermen who came over from Santa Cruz Island yesterday report good catches. The feuds between the crawfishermen have all been amicably settled, and everything is quiet and peaceful on the island. Several fishermen who made a practice on stealing tackle and catches of the others have been driven from the island.”


March 26, 1909 [SBI]: “It will be of interest to fishermen of Santa Barbara and vicinity to learn that the bills relating to the preservation of seals and sea lions in the Santa Barbara channel waters and the bill relating to abalones and crawfish had become laws and were in operation today. Senator Campbell of San Luis Obispo introduced the bills. Every person who, between February 15 and September 15, buys or sells, catches or kills, or has in his possession lobster or crawfish, or who at any time has in his possession any lobster or crawfish of less than 11 inches in length, is guilty of a misdemeanor…”


March 28, 1909 [SBI]: “It will be of interest to fishermen of Santa Barbara and vicinity to learn that the bills relating to the preservation of seals and sea lions in the Santa Barbara channel waters and the bill relating to abalones and crawfish and other fish had become laws and were in operation today. Senator Campbell of San Luis Obispo introduced the bills. Every person who, between February 15 and September 15, buys or sells, catches or kills, or has in his possession lobster or crawfish, or who at any time has in his possession any lobster or crawfish of less than 11 inches in length, is guilty of as misdemeanor. Every person who shoots or otherwise kills or captures any seal or sea lion in the waters of Santa Barbara channel or on, near or about and lands adjacent thereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or by imprisonment in the county jail not less than 60 days, or by both fine and imprisonment. The State Fish Commission may, however, grant permission to whom it deems fit to kill or trap or capture alive sea lions for scientific or exhibition purposes.”


April 13, 1909 [SBI]: “A party of fishermen from San Miguel Island arrived last evening with several tons of abalones caught by them during the past season. Several more fishermen are still on the Channel Islands with large catches of abalones. The season was a profitable one. Many of the fishermen who have been located here for several months have gone to the southern port.”


November 19, 1909 [SBI]: “Crawfish catches are improving, according to reports from the islands. Four fishing vessels, the Baltic, the Gussie M, the Charm and the Ina C came over last night, bringing about three tons of the fish. The fishermen report that the fishing is better than at any time this season. The fish have finished shelling and for that reason are easier to catch. Fishing in general is only fair. A few rock cod were brought over, but they are scarce, only enough being caught to supply local demand. As lobsters are scarce all along the coast, the fact that the fishing in Santa Barbara waters is improving is welcome news to local fishermen.”


August 14, 1909 [SBI]: “Fred F. Caire, of San Francisco, who with other members of the Caire family hold the title to Santa Cruz, largest of the Santa Barbara group of islands, announced today that it may be necessary to establish a patrol along the shores of the island and eject all campers who do not hold permits from the family of the management… Mr. Caire expressed satisfaction with the action of the legislature in prohibiting the catching of crawfish or abalone for two years. There will be no fishing parties on the islands this year, in consequence. ‘I can remember when we could see large numbers of crawfish along near the shore at Prisoners’ Harbor,’ said he. ‘They are one of the choicest seafoods, and the supply should be protected. Fishermen have been careless in observing the legal limit as to size and no one knows how many undersize fish have been shipped to San Pedro and other markets.’ Mr. Caire said the Chinese who gather abalone and sea weed have caused less trouble on the island than Americans. They pay a small rent for the use of the land and this has served to regulate their actions...’”


December 1, 1910 [SBI]: “Crawfish are growing plentiful, according to the fishermen at the shore. They find several bushels of the crustaceans in their nets at every haul and deplore the law that prohibits the capture and sale of the luscious dainties.”


April 16, 1911 [SBMP]: “A Summer Cruise in the Sunset Sea... The voyagers skirted the south side of Santa Cruz Island, stopping a day or two in Smugglers Cove, where they found a party of Japanese fishermen using diving suits in their quest for crawfish.”


August 26, 1911 [SBMP]: “The Asahi Fishing Company has been granted the exclusive privilege of camping on Santa Cruz Island for the purpose of catching abalone and crawfish, and all other parties are hereby warned that they are tresspassers and subject to ejectment by the above named lessees. Santa Cruz Island Company. A. J. Caire, Secretary. Those desiring to camp on Santa Cruz Island to fish shall apply to Asahi Fishing Co., headquarters 107-1/2 E. 1st. St., Los Angeles, Cal.”


September 1, 1911 [SBMP]: “The Asahi Fishing Company of Los Angeles will this week move its camp from Scorpion to Pelican Harbor, and expects to start on the crawfish September 15.”


September 5, 1911 [SBMP]: “Some of the local fishermen who have been to the islands recently, intending to gather crawfish there, have returned and will fish along the coast of the mainland. They claim that this year there are more crawfish along this coast than around the islands.”


September 16, 1911 [SBMP]: “How many thousand crawfish were taken from the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel yesterday, the first day of the open season, will never be known, but it is certain that the number was enormous... ‘It is said that one can almost walk on crawfish pots from Santa Barbara to Rincon in one direction, and to Point Conception in the other,’ Supervisor H. J. Doulton yesterday, ‘and on the islands, I am informed, the Japanese have hundreds of men engaged in catching crawfish...”


September 18, 1911 [LAT/SB]: “County Supervisor H. J. Doulton said yesterday that at the meeting of the board today he will advise and strongly advocate action toward the restriction of the crawfish business in the Santa Barbara Channel. With the opening of the season on Friday, hundreds of Japanese, Chinamen and Americans started to work in capturing the California lobsters. By night thousands of crawfish had been caught, and Doulton declared it would be only a short time until the supply would be thoroughly depleted. ‘We must protect this important industry and I will ask the board to pass some sort of law prohibiting the catching of crawfish to be sold outside of the county.’ The supervisor has many sympathizers in his proposed action and it is believed the board will sustain him.”


September 29, 1911 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Over fifteen hundred lobster-catcher camps were counted by a party of the launch Iowna, who have just completed a three-weeks cruise around the Channel Islands. Almost in every cove of Santa Cruz Island, and on the bleak island San Miguel, camps have been established. For many years, the ‘lobsters’ or crawfish have never been seen in such vast quantities. A party of fishermen from Santa Barbara built themselves a huge lath cage off Santa Cruz, and this was partly filled with fine specimens. It is expected that a number of the camps will be broken during the week owing to the markets for crawfish being oversupplied.”


October 12, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez, returning with the Gussie M yesterday from the other side of the channel, reports continued rough weather around the islands. He was unable to land at the abalone camps on Santa Rosa Island. He did make a landing at the crawfish camps on Santa Cruz Island, and brought over 3000 pounds of these California lobsters, the catch representing several days’ work.”


October 20, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Henry S. Short, returning yesterday from San Miguel Island, reports good progress in the work of wrecking the stranded lumber schooner Comet... Homeward bound, Captain Short stopped at various crawfish camps and brought about 2000 pounds of these lobsters to Santa Barbara. Call either phone, 481, Larco & Co., for these delicious lobsters.”


November 1, 1911 [SBMP]: “Tag crawfish new sport for government. For the purpose of ascertaining how far crawfish will migrate, Professor Bennett Miles Allen, representing the government, left yesterday for the Channel Islands. He carried with him 200 brass tags, all dated and so marked that they can be identified. These will be affixed to crawfish, after which they will be liberated. When any fish bearing one of the tags is caught, the fisherman is expected to notify the government. It is believed that this will result in the securing of some interesting data. Professor Allen is making the trip to the islands on the Wynona with Captain Post, and will be gone several days.”


January 5, 1912 [SBI]: “Owing to rough seas the catch of crawfish has been extremely small lately, and the price has advanced correspondingly. Local dealers are paying 14.5 cents wholesale. The Gussie M, which brought in 1500 pounds yesterday, all of which was shipped to San Francisco, returned to the islands this morning.”


January 5, 1912 [SBMP]: “There has been a remarkable advance in crawfish prices recently, due it is said, to the rough weather that has made it difficult to tend the traps, or to reach the fishing camps. Yesterday, local dealers paid 14 cents wholesale; and the San Francisco price is said to be 18 cents. The Gussie M came in yesterday with 1500 pounds of crawfish, all of it being trans-shipped to San Francisco. The price, 14 cents, makes a sack of crawfish worth about $10, the highest point reached since the season opened.”


January 5, 1912 [SBMP]: “Captain Christ of the Comet returned at 12 o’clock today from Santa Cruz Island, where he has been crawfishing. Christ has been gone from Santa Barbara for nearly six weeks, part of the time at San Pedro, where he has been selling his fish. He may leave for the islands again late tonight.”


January 6, 1912 [LAT/SB]: “Local fishermen and fish dealers were highly elated yesterday when word was received here that the market price of crawfish in Los Angeles and San Francisco is ranging between 15 and 20 cents. The fish have been bringing from 3 to 5 cents and the business has not been very profitable. There is said to be a vast amount of crawfish on the Channel Islands and with the increased price as an incentive, it is said that there will be a large number of fishermen start for the fish beds this week.”


January 8, 1912 [SBI]: “Crawfish are rocketing to dizzy height. Price shoots up from 3 to 20 cents a pound locally. Cold storage rivalry responsible. Every launch and outfit in channel now working overtime. Quit your job and go crawfishing. Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan and others are constantly giving advice to young men on how to become rich, but the foregoing is the best advice which any coast resident can give, especially at the present time. Today crawfish are selling at 20 cents a pound in the local market. This is uncooked. When the season opened, crawfish sold at 3 cents a pound cooked, and for a time there was more than enough to supply the demand. Crawfish will continue to go up, say fishermen and fish dealers here, until unheard of prices are reached. While all are hesitant about giving the reason for the advance, it is known that several San Francisco commission firms have become involved in a crawfish war, and that the agents of these firms have been here and have been buying up all the crawfish brought to port by the different launches, despite the fact that the catches have been unusually large. These firms place the crawfish in cold storage, and consequently there is a scarcity of the dainty, even in San Francisco. Shortly after the season opened, many of the fishermen ceased going out after the crawfish, owing to the low price, but now every launch in the bay is being utilized, and if there were others here they would be leased immediately. As fast as the loads are brought in they are placed aboard the trains and shipped north, while the same thing is being done in ports farther south.”


January 17, 1912 [SBMP]: “Crawfish price drops to 6 cents wholesale. Crawfish were 6 cents per pound in the wholesale market this morning, a decided drop from the high prices that were prevalent last week. The season will close on the 15th of next month. After that no fish can be sold, whether caught previously or not…”


February 10, 1912 [SBI]: “Crawfish season will end at midnight next Wednesday. For some time there has been few of the California lobsters on the market owing to the rough weather at sea and the heavy swells that have made it impossible to use traps on the beach. After the season closes it is up to the fish wardens to see that none of these fish, supposed to be caught on the Mexican coast where there is no closed season, but really caught in California, are shipped in to the market.”


February 11, 1912 [SBMP]: “Twenty crawfish camps on the Channel Islands will be deserted and 40 or 50 men will be turning their energies to other pursuits as a result of the progress of the time. The crawfish season closes February 14th which is next Wednesday. Yesterday the launch Miramar brought over a number of men from Larco camps, and the launch Comet, Captain Crist, arrived with the fishermen from two other camps. The season has been, generally speaking, unsatisfactory. The catch has not been large, and prices have been so variable and sometimes so low that the returns were not profitable.”


February 12, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Christ left this afternoon in his launch Comet for Santa Cruz Island where he will get probably the last load of crawfish to be brought in before the season closes at midnight on the 14th day of February. Captain Christ reports that the sheep on the south side of the Santa Cruz Island are dieing fast. The cattle he says are faring better than the sheep, but they are also very poor.”


February 16, 1912 [SBI]: “The crawfish season closes at midnight and every crawfish in the markets must be disposed of in the meantime. Unless the season is arbitrarily closed for a longer term than is regular it will open again September 15. Within the last two weeks every crawfish camp on the islands has been broken up. The last outfit to return to Santa Barbara was one of Larco’s brought by Captain Christ in his launch the Comet, yesterday. Crawfish season this year opened after a long closed period but the expectation of large catches were not realized. Owing to the fluctuating prices of the fish many of the camps became disgusted and broke up early in the season. The Japanese camps on the islands, that threatened to make trouble in the early part of the season, shipped their fish direct to the big markets and held them alive in large lots at the island until prices were favorable to them. A few fish that were cooked when dead and then sold caused several cases of poisoning when the fish were caught, but none of the cases proved serious, and the latter part of the season has not been marked by any such happenings.”


September 7, 1912 [SBMP]: “In preparation for the crawfish season which opens September 15 and continues until February 15, the fishing fleet that operates between Point Conception and San Pedro and around the islands, and has its headquarters here, is busy with the transportation of traps and other paraphernalia of the trade. Fully twenty power launches are outfitting here and are being joined daily by others from Gaviota, San Pedro, and other points.”


September 18, 1912 [SBMP]: “The crawfish of the season are now in the market, but the fleet is not having any too good luck. The catch is reported light, both from the mainland and from the islands. However, some of the camps have not yet been heard from. The season opened the 15th, and there are probably twenty camps at different points on either side of the channel.”


December 26, 1912 [SBI]: “The Gussie M, Captain Rosaline [Vasquez], left today for a three days cruise among the islands. Judge Overman is one of those making the trip and he expects to return with a good load of crawfish.”


February 14, 1913 [SBMP]: “The crawfish season ends tomorrow, the last receipts from the island camps coming in yesterday. According to Sebastian Larco of the Larco Company, the catch this year has been the smallest known; not so much because of rough weather as the approaching extermination of these crustaceans.”


February 21, 1913 [SBMP]: “The State Fish Commission is said to be considering the establishment of patrol of the Santa Barbara Channel and adjacent waters for the purpose of enforcing protection for the crawfish and abalone and other denizens of the deep that have been recipients of legislative favor, but whose safety is more or less insecure because of the difficulty in watching all the points. A launch will be put in service along the coast, if reports are to be credited.”


May 3, 1913 [SN]: “Robert Benson and Leonard Johnson, formerly employed on board W. S. Tevis’ gasoline launch Consuelo, the largest and most powerful on the bay, have severed their connection therewith and are fitting up the 30-foot yawl Pilgrim with a fifteen-horse power auxiliary gasoline engine and will leave about August 1st for Santa Rosa Island near Santa Barbara where they will engage in the crawfishing business.”


November 14, 1913 [SBMP]: “The utter annihilation of the abalones and crawfish in southern waters, unless something is done soon, is the gist of the report that is to be made in two weeks to the State Fish and Game Commission by J. A. Coxe, who has been investigating conditions for three weeks. Coxe is the San Pedro expert on deep sea fish with the Tufts—Lyon firm, and has been studying the question for years. A month ago he was commissioned by the fish commission to make a cruise through the islands off the Southern California coast and make a report on conditions as he found them. He returned last week from a trip of three weeks, on which he was accompanied by J. W. Jump and Smith Warren, of San Pedro. The result of their observation is published by the Catalina Wireless… Coxe suggests that the closed season on abalones from January to April, should be extended to include April and May, and he may recommend this action to thecommission. It would save these varieties from destruction and give the commission a chance to study their habits. At this time abalone shells are worth $100 a ton, and the meat is shipped to Japan.”


November 15, 1913 [SBMP]: “Several crates of crawfish reached local markets yesterday, the first shipments from the island camp since the storm.”


December 11, 1913 [SBMP]: “Crawfish will advance in price within the next few days as a result of the recent storms along the coast, according to the San Pedro News. Thirty-five fishing camps on the Channel Islands have been denuded of their traps, receivers, and gear by the wind and waves. Fishermen began returning to Los Angeles Harbor Monday morning bringing the stories of the devastation wrought by the elements. Lobsters have been scarce this season, and according to statements made by the fish companies at the harbor Monday, the prices will soar until a supply is received from Mexican fishermen via San Diego. Crawfish were quoted at 14 cents wholesale Monday. Fully 35 camps have been laid idle through the storm. The monetary damage has been estimated at from $3000 to $4000. On Santa Cruz Island, 20 camps of crawfish fishermen lost their traps, receivers and gear. On San Clemente Island five camps lost their effects. On San Nicolas Island there were two camps suffering. On Anacapa Island there were four camps and on the other islands there were from one to three camps. The men have returned to San Pedro and will not be able to go out again until new gear and new traps are made. The loss will fall directly on the fishermen.”


October 15, 1914 [SBMP]: “The fishermen are getting their traps and other paraphernalia ready for the crawfish season, which opens November 1. There will be many fishing camps on Santa Cruz Island operated by Santa Barbara fishermen in the main, but with quite a number from San Pedro, as usual.”


October 20, 1914 [LAT/SCat]: “A party of campers report that a number of crawfishermen have already begun work at various points around San Clemente, Catalina and Santa Cruz islands, and that they have secured many crawfish, which they have deposited in receivers awaiting the opening of the season, November 1. It is alleged that each year thousands of crawfish are caught during the actual closed season and that immediately after the season opens the fish are brought to market and the market is flooded. It was estimated by the campers that there are over 600 fishermen located on the islands, and that many of them are mere boys, who did not have any practical experience in the market-fishing business. Not only do the boys destroy crawfish which are under the regulation size, but they injure the large ones, and willfully and maliciously kill them because they are unable to sell them to the markets. On the lea side of San Clemente Island the campers stated that they saw no less than fifteen large receivers full of crawfish awaiting November 1. Only in a few instances were the receivers tied to a regular buoy or anchor. Oftentimes they were fastened to a large bed of kelp, while the body of kelp was itself anchored to the bottom with heavy rocks.”


November 4, 1914 [LAT]: “Flood market with crawfish. Heavy early-season catches exceed demand when offered for sale. Owing to an abundant catch of lobsters, the wholesale price dropped to 17 cents today… Since the arrest of the craw fishermen at San Clemente, the Howland brothers, lessees, announce that all is quiet once more, and that no more sheep have been stolen or killed since Deputy Constable Adams dragged fourteen of the fishermen to the County jail to await trial on Thursday.”


November 6, 1914 [LAT]: “Crawfisheries fined. The law struck unexpectedly at the illegal crawfishers, officers bringing five here and taking seven to San Pedro after catching them at the islands before the season opened with over ten tons of crawfish in their possession. For years the crawfishers have made it a practice of putting out their traps many weeks before the season opened and having tons of crawfish on hand to ship away the first day of the opening season. This season the fish and game officers got busy and surprised some of them, though it is asserted that scores of others who have traps out along the coast have escaped.”


December 1, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Because they refused to leave San Clemente Island, twenty crawfishermen were arrested by special officers and Mr. B. Howland on board the launch Imp, last Wednesday. This makes the second roundup of fishermen during the past six weeks. Each officer carried a warrant and a miniature cannon. It is claimed by Mr. Howland that the fishermen at San Clemente wantonly and willfully kill sheep and goats. Driven from the island a number of the fishermen are now sleeping in skiffs anchored in Mosquito Harbor. The men claim that they have not been trespassing over the San Clemente Island Wool Company’s property, and that they will continue to catch crawfish, as long as the season lasts…”


December 19, 1914 [SBMP]: “When the Miramar, Larco’s powerboat, returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with the crawfish catch for the past week from the various camps on the island shore, the members of her crew told a tale of misfortune that had over taken the fishermen there. The gale of last Wednesday night resulted in the ruin of most of the crawfish traps on the island shores. Nearly all the traps that were in the water were ground to splinters against the rocks on the ocean bottom, including cages into which the catch is deposited day by day. Many of the fishermen lost all of their traps and also a considerable number of crawfish that had been caught during the preceding days… There are fourteen camps on Santa Cruz Island shore, and a few on Anacapa Island. It is presumed the latter suffered the same as those of Santa Cruz.”


December 19, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Much damage has been done to crawfish traps on the shores of Santa Cruz and other islands in this vicinity, by the recent southeaster and high tides. The powerboat Miramar, of the Larco Fish Company, reports that most of the traps on the island shores were wrecked by the heavy seas. Many crawfish caught in the five days preceding the storm, also escaped when the underwater pens were smashed by the ocean. The Miramar brought over only 25 per cent of its usual crawfish cargo. There are fourteen crawfishing camps on Santa Cruz Island, and several on Anacapa.”


December 29, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Word comes from San Clemente Island, that the fight between the crawfishermen and the lessees of the island is still waging bitterly, and that the men are sleeping in row boats rather than give up the fight. They have been driven from the beach, and it is now expected that the trouble will last until the crawfish season is over. Over one hundred men have been taken from the island by deputies, who have been hired for the purpose of protecting the company’s sheep and other property. It is claimed that the crawfishing has been so unprofitable this year that the fishermen have been compelled to row ashore nights and steal the sheep, and that they have done this rather than go back to the mainland. It is estimated that at the beginning of the season there were over two hundred crawfishermen camped on the various beaches of the island. The number has greatly been reduced since the fight started.”


January 3, 1915 [SBMP]: “Scotty Cunningham returned yesterday afternoon to his crawfish camp on the Anacapa Island shore, with a lot of new traps to take the place of those he lost in the recent gales that destroyed most of the traps at all the island camps.”


January 3, 1915 [SBMP]: “Larco’s powerboat, the Miramar, took a large number of crawfish traps to Santa Cruz Island for the fishermen there, who have lost their outfits in the last storms.”


January 4, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Crawfish around Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands should now beware, as a fresh supply of traps has arrived to take the place of those destroyed recently by the storms and high tides along the island shore. Scotty Cunningham is at his camp on the island today, having just taken a caargo of new traps over. The Larco Fish Company’s boat, Miramar, took over a number of traps to Santa Cruz Island as well, to replace those destroyed in the recent storms.”


January 10, 1915 [SBMP]: “Larco’s powerboat, the Miramar, left yesterday afternoon for the crawfish camps on the south side of Santa Cruz Island with supplies for the fishermen and materials for the building of new traps to replace those lost in the recent gales.”


January 19, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “Fight discontinued between fishermen and San Clemente Island Wool Company. Reports come from San Clemente Island that the bitter fight that has waged there for nearly three months between the San Clemente Island Wool Company and the crawfishermen of the mainland, who were determined to camp on the island, has been discontinued, and the crawfishermen have given up the fight. Only two crawfish camps now remain on the island, and these are the two that were first allowed privileges by the company. For two months almost one hundred men slept in skiffs and endured many hardships to force an entry. Then boatload after boatload of men and equipment disappeared almost as mysteriously as they arrived on the island. A crawfisherman who returned from the island last week, stated that on the lea side fishing banks there were upward of 2000 crawfish traps lying on the bottom of the ocean. It is said that the prevailing storms which have swept the coast for two months, has largely been responsible for the wrecked equipment and retreat of the fishermen. A few launches with crawfish and deep sea fishermen aboard are still in the vicinity.”


January 21, 1915 [SBMP]: “Charles Hanson same in from the islands yesterday for supplies for his craw fishing camp. He and Scotty Cunningham, who operate the powerboats Flyer and Sampan respectively, are working together, and are changing their camp from the bleak shore of Anacapa Island to Valdez Harbor, by most people considered the most beautiful spot on Santa Cruz Island. From what Hanson says, however, the main object in making the change is not for aesthetic reasons, but in the hope of finding better craw fishing grounds. He declares he never saw so few crawfish as there are this season, and that none of the men engaged in this line of fishing are making any money from it.”


January 26, 1915 [SBMP]: “The Miramar brought ten crates of about 200 pounds each of crawfish from the camps on the south coast of Santa Cruz Island.”


February 3, 1915 [SBMP]: “Word came from the islands yesterday to the effect that last Friday night's storm had again played havoc with the fishermen's crawfish traps. Ten or twelve camps lost practically all of their outfits, and, coming on the heels of the wreckage of the same kind about two months ago, they feel hard hit by the gales. The season closes on March 1, and in view of the demolition of these traps it is practically closed right now, for none of the fishermen will build new ones for the short time of the season remaining.”


February 4, 1915 [SBMP]: “Larco's sturdy powerboat, the Miramar, arrived from the islands about noon yesterday... The Miramar's cargo was a total of about 100 pounds each of crawfish and rock cod, and this yield represented three days' fishing at ten camps on the Santa Cruz Island shores...”


March 22, 1915 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless, that was one of the fortunate to escape the recent storm, sailed to the islands yesterday for a load of crawfish. Captain Vasquez had intended to take out a party of pleasure seekers, but the plan was abandoned before the boat set sail, and the pleasure trip will be made at a later date.”


September 4, 1915 [SBMP]: “That David Starr Jordan and the federal authorities have become interested in the desirability for the protective measures for the channel seal, for the sea birds and for the food fishes of these waters is an encouraging sigh; and the proposition that there should be a separate department in California for the supervision of ocean fisheries is eminently reasonable and destined to have the support of all thinking people. The seals of Santa Barbara are being exterminated. There are fewer sea birds than there were. Crawfish and abalone are each season more scarce. Food fish are higher in price. There is urgent need for action of a decisive and effective character, and agitation to that end is worthy of our interest and support.”


September 12, 1915 [SBMP]: “Frank Maglio went to Willow Harbor, Santa Cruz Island yesterday with a load of material in his boat, the Sampson, to his camp on Anacapa Island for the same purpose. The fishermen report that the outlook for crawfish is better this season than it was last year. The fish are more plentiful they say. The season does not open until October 15, but the fishermen have a big job to get ready for the operations, as most of them lost all their traps last winter in the gales that swept the island shores, and have to construct a complete set of new traps. The season runs until March 1.”


October 7, 1915 [SBMP]: “The crawfish season will open October 15 and run until March 1. There will be about as many men as usual engaged in this branch of the fishing industry, and most of them have their traps all ready or are finishing them up at their island camps. The wise ones opine that these fish will not be quite so plentiful as they were last year, and with the size limitations set by law a maximum length of fourteen and a minimum length of nine inches, they do not expect to get rich in the business. Most people, however, regard with complacency the fact that the law has established a measure to prevent the crawfish crop from becoming extinct.”


October 14, 1915 [SBMP]: “A lot of crawfish trips have been taken to the islands during the past few days to be put into the water for the purpose of getting the odor of newness out of the wood through the action of the ocean brine before time for the opening of the season tomorrow. There will be about fifty men operating in the island waters in quest of this prized seafood this season, and perhaps half as many in the channel off the mainland. This crawfish industry is decidedly precarious in its character. Sometimes, the fishermen do very well at it, and then again disaster is more than likely to overtake them in a southeaster pretty certain to demolish their traps, boats, buoys and receivers, and make a complete new outfit necessary for a continuance of the fishing, as it does not take the elements long to destroy a plant worth from $200 to $700. And the best, there is no fortune in the crawfish business. An old fisherman, who had long been engaged in this branch of the fishing trade, yesterday expressed his opinion of the business tersely in this declaration: ‘When fish plenty, no price. When price high, no fish!’”


December 3, 1915 [LAT]: “Willie Pearson, aged 32, a lobster fisherman, lost his life at Long Point, San Clemente Island yesterday. With Chris Fosstrum he was attempting to make a landing in a skiff. The boat capsized and both men were thrown into the breakers. Fosstrum swam ashore, but Pearson went down. He was unmarried, and had relatives in Oakland and Norway.”


January 7, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Maglio came in from Santa Cruz Island with a load of crawfish that he had brought from the camps on the south shore of the island.”


January 7, 1916 [SBMP]: “In the recent southeast gale many of the fishermen on the island shore suffered considerable damage to their crawfish traps, many of which were more or less injured by being dashed against the rocks, and some of them being entirely demolished.”


February 2, 1916 [SBMP]: “Crawfish are a decided luxury in this city of present, being more scarce than at any time during the present season. The fishermen of the islands have naturally had very poor luck in taking the fish throughout the tempestuous weather on the channel for the past few weeks, with the consequence of a real crawfish famine. The retail price in the local market for this prized delicacy of the sea is twenty-eight cents a pound.”


February 4, 1916 [LAT]: “The recent storms played havoc with the lobster fishermen on Santa Cruz Island, according to reports received here. Chris Gunderson and Pete Cruz are reported to have lost their lives and James Reed, son-in-law of Gunderson, left today to make arrangements to bring the bodies back. Six fishermen on San Nicolas and San Clemente islands have been missing since early January and a launch left today to find some trace of the marooned fishermen.”


February 11, 1916 [Lompoc Journal]: “The recent storms played havoc with the lobster fishermen on Santa Cruz Island.”


February 28, 1916 [SBDN]: “Fishermen who have spent the past season on the islands attending to their crawfish traps, are returning to their homes here daily, a large number coming in today and yesterday. The season ends March 1, and many of the men, eager to get home, left their camps a few days before the law forced them to cease work. Those who came in yesterday presented an odd spectacle, as they were unable to find a barbershop open. Many of them looked like typical pirates with their long hair and bearded faces, occasioned by the lengthy stay on the island and the absence there of barber shops. Happy after a good season, the men are glad to be home. The catch this year was about normal, but the net profits for the season were somewhat better than in former years as crawfish brought a better price. State laws, which prohibit the taking of fish under certain size, and the advancing cost of twine and other necessities, have cut into the profits, but all in all the men seem satisfied. The season ended with but one tragedy—the death of two of the men caught by a landslide some six weeks ago. The crawfishermen remain at their camps throughout the season receiving their supplies and sending forward their catches by a supply boat, which visits the camps the first of every week.”


February 29, 1916 [SBDN]: “Crawfish are disappearing from the waters about the Channel Islands, and according to the observations of George Nidever, the sheepshead, a species of fish, is the cause. This ravenous fish is said to be making rapid inroads upon both crawfish and lobsters. Mr. Nidever has a crawfish camp on the ocean side of Santa Cruz Island. He has just come to the mainland to visit relatives and prepare for other activities. He says the past season has been a hard one for lobster fishers. He has gone to many fathoms with his traps in an effort to keep up with the market demands for crawfish. In many of his traps he has found fat sheepshead fast prisoners. They poke their heads into traps after the lobster bait, and many, not being able to escape, were hauled to the surface. They are eating tons and tons of the young lobsters,’ said Mr. Nidever, ‘and within a few years there will not be a lobster remaining.’ Mr. Nidever is a son of Captain Nidever, who attained historical fame in these parts by rescuing from the islands the last remaining member of a tribe of Indians which once lived there. An Indian woman had been left behind by accident when the Indians were brought to the mainland, and years later Captain Nidever discovered her tracks in the beach sands, and led an expedition to rescue her.”


February 29, 1916 [SBMP]: “Charles Hansen, Scotty Cunningham and half a dozen other craw fishers came over from Santa Cruz Island in their fishing boats last Sunday with their final catches of this prized ocean delicacy for this season. Their camps have been dismantled, as the crawfish season goes out with today. All the camps on the island shores have been abandoned, there having been fifteen to last the season out on Santa Cruz.”


August 9, 1916 [SBDN]: “The crawfish season, which opens October 15th, gives promise of being the best in these waters for years, according to fishermen who are already getting their traps and paraphernalia in shape and taking the outfits over to the islands. The season for catching this sea delicacy lasts until March 15th and during which time more than 100 men are engaged in the industry, shipping the crawfish throughout the country, besides providing all that is needed for home consumption. During the past few days of soft, summery weather, large caches of fish have been taken close in shore, and the sportsmen as well as the old fishermen are reaping a harvest. Yesterday between the wharf and the point, more than 200 large herring and several halibut weighing from 12 to 15 pounds were caught. Good catches of jack smelt and rock bass were also taken. ‘I never saw the fishing better so close in,’ said Captain G. W. Gourley at the wharf. ‘The favorable weather and the fact that large schools of sardines are running in the channel helps to make the sport so fine. Anglers who have been going up in the mountains for trout are finding equally as great sport in the harbor.’ Several parties are out today and expect to meet with equally as good luck as those who went out earlier.”


October 18, 1916 [LAT]: “Why lobsters are so scarce in the local market at the opening of the season was explained here today when it became known that tugs from San Francisco visited the fishing grounds the day the season opened and bought nearly all the lobsters that had been caught and took them to northern markets. The season opened October 15, but most of the lobster fishermen left port a week or two in advance with their traps for the Channel Islands. Fishermen returning from San Clemente and Santa Barbara islands today report that when the season opened a San Francisco firm was on the ground offering to take the lobsters at the traps and pay the same price there that had been offered in port here. It is generally believed that the move from the north was only a stealthy move to get lobsters at the opening of the season while prices are high and that the tugs will be seen no more in southern waters.”


October 20, 1916 [SDET]: “Local cafes and those of Los Angeles complain of not being able to secure good lobsters for the high class trade. Fishermen returning from San Clemente Island say the dealers of San Francisco are willing to outbid southern markets and for that reason until lobsters become more plentiful they will be high priced here.”


November 7, 1916 [SCICo]: “All crawfish camps on the island are working for Larco Company with the exception of Eaton, and we understand that he is selling to them.”


November 1, 1916 [SBMP]: “Shipments of crawfish, smelt, and fat cattle came from the islands by various routes. The launch Eagle arrived from a tour of the crawfish camps with eighteen crates of these California lobsters, a shipment somewhat better than average since the season opened…”


November 28, 1916 [SBDN]: “Ventura, November 28. The recent east winds, which brought riches to the bean growers, carried away the Anacapa Island home of Captain Bay Webster, known as the King of the Island by reason of his lease from the United States government. The house, built in a little inlet known as Webster Bay, was carried away bit by bit. Captain Webster called at the island and found nothing but the concrete floor remaining. During the major part of the year the Webster family lives on the island, but during the storm period its members were at San Pedro. The house was built on the low ridge, which forms the backbone of the island at the harbor. The wind came down from the mainland, picked up the Webster home, and after curling up the corrugated iron roof and starting it towards the Samoan Islands, proceeded to demolish and carry away the rest of the seaside mansion. Captain Webster will rebuild immediately. Twenty lobster traps were also demolished by the wind.”


December 22, 1916 [SBDN]: “Pirates from the south today were blamed for the theft of some two tons of crawfish for traps on the south side of Santa Cruz Island. As a result of the theft some of the fishermen will not be able to give their families as much of a merry Christmas as they had planned. The loss of the fishermen is very heavy. Crawfish sell retail at about 25 cents a pound, but the pay to the men does not come anywhere near this figure. Local fishermen are incensed over the actions of the pirates, and they declare these thefts are becoming an annual affair of late years.”


December 22, 1916 [Santa Ana Register]: “Steal Crawfish. Santa Barbara, Dec. 22.—As the result of the theft of some two toms of crawfish taken from their traps on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, several Santa Barbara fishermen are going to be unable to give their families much of a merry Christmas. Crawfish sell retail at about 35 cents a pound, and, while the pay to the men does not come anywhere near this figure, their loss is very heavy. News of the theft was brought from the island by boats which returned with but a part of the expected load. Pirates from the south were blamed for the theft, which is becoming an annual affair of late years, fishermen said.”


December 30, 1916 [SBMP]: “Yesterday, the big fish day of the week, saw a veritable fish famine in the local markets. No local fish has come in for about a week… Captain Maglio of the Eagle is expected from the islands this morning with the crawfish from the camps there, but there is not much hope that his cargo will afford material relief in the present shortage, as there is a disquieting rumor that a number of island camps have lost their traps in the gale that has been raging for the past few days.”


October 21, 1917 [LAT]: “Jack Carrillo, one of the heirs to the De Baker millions, saved his life after seven hours of battling with the sea in a swim of seven miles, after his boat, Marguerite, foundered during the terrific windstorm Thursday. His companion, Bryan Schafer of Santa Barbara, was drowned. The two were out after crawfish. When the storm came up they started to run from their camp on Anacapa Island to Santa Cruz Island for fresh water and ten minutes out their smack was caught by a heavy sea, the rudder smashed and the boat capsized. They swam for a time, clinging to a bundle of laths from the boat, and they reached the craft and for an hour sat on the upturned boat. There Carrillo disrobed, but his companion refused to. Suddenly the boat righted itself and sank. Two scantlings floated from the boat and on these the two youths floated, until Schafer went down. For two hours Carrillo kept his companion’s head above water, and when he finally disappeared Carrillo continued swimming without the aid of the scantling, until exhausted, he reached Hungry Man’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, seven miles distant. He was rescued among the rocks of the harbor by fishermen and brought to Santa Barbara today. Bryan Schafer was the son of Henry Schafer, now deceased, who was for years a leader in Democratic politics.”


December 23, 1917 [SBMP]: “The Seal, one of the Larco power fishing boats, came in from the islands last night with a catch of three tons of crawfish taken at the island camps. Probably a third of this lot will be used by the local holiday trade, and the remainder will be shipped far and wide throughout he state.”


January 12, 1918 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez returned from the islands yesterday in his powerboat, the Mary B, bringing from the island fishing camps a load of crawfish. The captain reports a three-day’s nor’easter at the islands, very rough winds and waves, through which the fishermen lost many of their crawfish traps and much other gear. All of this season the crawfish have been scarce, but good prices have prevailed, the fishermen now getting for his catch 18 cents a pound — considerably more than ever before.”


October 6, 1918 [LAT/SB]: “The crawfish season opens October 15. Fishermen are now completing their arrangements for a big catch. A number of camps have been established on the Channel Islands and hundreds of crates are now ready. Rumors that some fishermen have already put their traps in the water are denied by the best-informed fishermen. In past years the custom had been to catch several tons in advance of the season and bring them to the mainland on the opening day, but the Fish and Game officers have lately been on the watch to enforce the law. From every report the season will be fairly good.”


October 31, 1918 [SBDNI]: “With the opening of the crawfish season a new sport has opened in the channel. Late in the afternoon, fishers in boats are catching many crawfish close in shore between the wharf and Castle Rock, baiting with big chunks of bonita. On this the crawfish cling to feed, and are slowly brought to the surface and caught… From the island the professional fishers are bringing many big cargoes of crawfish. In seasons past the fishers have suffered large loss by the high winds and seas smashing up their traps, but so far the crawfish season has been ideal and the crawfish abundant, it is said.”


November 21, 1918 [SBMP]: “Captain Charles Hansen of the launch Two Sons came in yesterday with about a ton of crawfish on board. Hansen made his catch off the islands and reports fishing is good.”


October 10, 1919 [SBDNI]: “Crawfish men are busy preparing their traps for the opening of the season, which begins next Wednesday. Several hundred traps have already been taken from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz Island. It is understood that the state fish and game officers are shipping along the ocean with an eye for those who trap before the season.”


October 27, 1919 [SBDNI]: “Lobster season is now in full swing. The high winds of Saturday and Sunday interfered somewhat with the catch, but no extensive damage was done. The fishermen have out a large number of traps off theislands, where the lobsters gather and over night these traps are filled. While many boat loads are being brought to Santa Barbara there are twice as many, it is said, going to San Pedro direct. The catch this season so far is not as large as anticipated, in fact, not up to normal, but enough are being caught to keep the fishermen busy looking after their traps. Retail dealers at Los Angeles are paying 18 cents a pound for the catch as it arrives, while at San Diego 22 cents is being paid. Last year Los Angeles paid 15 cents. It is believed that these prices will go higher, especially if the fishermen face a series of destructive gales, which usually do immense damage to the traps. The lobster season closes March 1, 1920.”


September 30, 1919 [SBMP]: “Preparations are being made among local fishermen for the crawfish season which opens October 15. The building of traps and other necessary arrangements for a big season, which lasts several months is being undertaken. The big catches are usually made at the Santa Barbara islands and is a profitable occupation as the demand for the shelled fish is large. In spite of the fact that the rain was pouring down on the wharf yesterday afternoon, it did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of about 15 ardent sports of the noted order of local anglers, for they were busy with pole and line in spite of the heavy precipitation.”


October 3, 1920 [SCICo]: “There are a number of crawfish fishermen around the Island now. The same rental for these camps $2.50 the season will be in force. There may be some trouble collecting this year from some of them. They are Bolsheviks and willing to pull off any rough stuff that they think they can get away with, but the moment any similar tactics are used on them they run to the authorities. I am therefore writing to Richards and Henney to find out just what the procedure is to kick any of these men off the Island without giving them grounds for a damage suit.”


November 24, 1920 [SBMP]: “The open season on lobsters is here, and it is apparent that fishermen and others are picking them out of the harbor and in the channel at any size, shape or age. Anything goes, as long as it is a lobster. ‘Crawfish’ is the name under which the lobster travels in local waters. As ‘lobster’ the crawfish brings more money at the market place. Don’t take a lobster smaller than 10-1/2 inches or more than 16 inches, the way the law reads. Harry Pritchard, Deputy of the Fish and Game Commission, who was here yesterday, says: ‘Treat the lobster right. Don’t pick ‘em when they are too young, and feel sorry for them when they are old, and in a few years we’ll all be eating lobster.”  

November 17, 1923 [SDET]: “Deputy plans to protect lobsters. A campaign to stop violations of the state fish and game laws covering the catching of undersized lobsters was started yesterday by deputy commissioners who assert that a lobster shortage in local waters exists. Haas Williamson, a Russian fisherman, was arrested under the game laws and charged with catching 500 baby lobsters in the waters around San Clemente Island. The lobsters, still alive, were released in outer harbor waters, while Williamson was released on $20 bail. It is claimed that there is a growing demand for baby lobsters among those fond of the crustaceans, first because they are prohibited, like liquor, and second because they are said to have a more toothsome flavor and more tender meat, less likely to cause nightmares. Consequently, the contraband lobsters are getting high prices and fishermen are reported to be taking chances on being arrested in order to supply the market. Deputy Commissioner C. H. Groat, who arrested Williamson, explains that another reason lobsters are somewhat scarce in local waters this season is because they are shedding their shells and without this armor plate stay safely under rocky ledges instead of becoming food for fish. Groat says the lobster has to shed his shell in order to grow. Twice a year the shellfish gets a new covering, each successive one larger than the other. Abalones in local waters too are getting quite scarce, according to Groat, especially along the rocky parts of the mainland of southern California. He said there were quite a number on the Channel Islands, however, and plenty down the coast of Lower California.”


October 15, 1925 [SBMP]: “Season opens for crawfish… Several camps have been established on the Channel Islands… Fishermen establish camps on Channel Islands… Captain Castagnola will have boats off Goleta during the season, and Captain Charles Hanson is locating off Summerland…”


November 7, 1928 [ODC]: “The heavy swell in Santa Barbara channel Saturday is believed to have claimed the life of Hidjmar Lacander, 39, lobsterman employed by the Larco Fish Company at Anacapa Island. Word of the accident was brought to Santa Barbara yesterday. The victim, an assistant to Arthur Gronthal at one of the Larco camps on the island, went out early Saturday to take in the daily catch. When he failed to return, a search was made, and fragments of the man’s skiff were found on the rocky shore. The body has been swept away. Officials of the company said the man was believed to have come here from San Pedro. He was a native of Finland.”